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PUBLISHED BY GOULD, KENDALL AND LINCOLN,

NO. 59 WASHINGTON STREET.

1847.

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PREFACE.

THIS work originated in a desire, on the part of the Publishers, to supply what they considered a deficiency in the Literature addressed at the present time to the great body of the People. In the late efforts for the improvement of the popular mind, the removal of mere ignorance has been the chief object held in view: attention has been mainly given to what might be expected to impart technical knowledge; and in the cultivation of what is certainly but a branch of the intellectual powers, it has been thought that the great end was gained. It is not necessary here to present arguments establishing that there are faculties for cognising the beautiful in art, thought, and feeling, as well as for perceiving and enjoying the truths of physical science and of fact. Nor is it needful to show how elegant and reflective literature, especially, tends to moralise, to soften, and to adorn the soul and life of man. Assuming this as granted, we were anxious to take the aid of the press-or rather of the Printing Machine, for by it alone could the object be accomplished—to bring the belles lettres into the list of those agencies which are now operating for the mental advancement of the middle and humbler portions of society.

It appeared that, for a first effort, nothing could be more suitable than a systematised series of extracts from our national authors; “a concentration"—to quote the language of the prospectus—“ of the best productions of English intellect, from Anglo-Saxon to the present times, in the various departments headed by Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton-by More, Bacon, Locke-by Hooker, Taylor, Barrowby Addison, Johnson, Goldsmith-by Hume, Robertson, Gibbon-set in a biographical and critical history of the literature itself.” By this a double end might, it seemed, be served; as the idea of the work in. cluded the embodiment of a distinct and valuable portion of knowledge, as well as that mass of polite literature which was looked to for the effect above described. In the knowledge of what has been done by English literary genius in all ages, it cannot be doubted that we have a branch of the national history, not only in itself important, as well as interesting, but which reflects a light upon other departments of history-for is not the Elizabethan Drama, for example, an exponent, to some extent, of the state of the national mind at the time, and is it not equally one of the influences which may be presumed to have modified that mind in the age which followed ? Nor is it to be overlooked, how important an end is to be attained by training the entire people to venerate the thoughtful and eloquent of past and present times. These gifted beings may be said to have endeared our language and institutions—our national character, and the very scenery and artificial objects which mark our soil—to all who are acquainted with, and can appreciate their writings. A regard for our national authors enters into and forms part of the most sacred feelings of every educated man, and it would not be easy to estimate in what degree it is to this sentiment that we are indebted for all of good and great that centres in the name of England. Assuredly, in our common reverence for a Shakspeare, a Milton, a Scott, we have a social and uniting sentiment, which not only contains in itself part of our happiness as a people, but much that counteracts influences that tend to set us in division.

A more special utility is contemplated for this work, in its serving to introduce the young to the Pantheon of English authors. The “ Elegant Extracts” of Dr Knox, safter forry enjoying popularity as a selection of polite literature for youths between school and college,Iyaş of late.years sink out of -notice, in consequence of a change in public taste. It was almost exclusively devoted to the rhetorical literature, elegant but artificial, which flourished during the earlier half of the eightsent. century, overlooking even the great names of Chaucer and Spenser, as well as nearly the whole tanga of-rich, though not faultless productions extending between the times of Shakspeare and Dryden., The ripre seemed to have come for a substitute work, in which at once the revived taste for our early literature słioułu bé grašified, and due attention be given to the authors who have lived since the time of Knox. Such a work it has been the humble aim of the editor to produce in that which is now laid before the public.

He takes this opportunity of acknowledging that very important assistance has been rendered throughout the Cyclopædia of English Literature, and particularly in the poetical department, by Mr Robert Carruthers of Inverness.

EDINBURGH, August 15, 1843.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

434

466

Page
Page

Page Illumination-Monk writing,

1 Autograph of Sir Philip Sidney, 232 View of St Lawrence Church, Chair of Bede, • 3 Portrait of Richard Hooker, 235 Portrait of Dr Robert South,

441 Illumination-a Minstrel, 8 Portrait of Lord Bacon, 239 View of Islip Church,

441 Portrait of Chaucer, 12 Autograph of Bacon, 239 Portrait of Richard Baxter,

454 Chaucer's Tomb, 14 Monument of Bacon, 241 View of Ury House,

461 Tabard Inn, Southwark,

14 Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh, 244 Portrait of John Bunyan, Portrait of Gower, 24 Autograph of Raleigh,

244 View of the Birthplace of Bunyan, 467 Cathedral of Aberdeen, 23 View of Hayes Farm, the Birthplace Portrait of Lord Clarendon,

475 View of Lochleven, 28 of Raleigh,

244 View of Dunkirk llouse, the London Portrait of Wickliffe, 35 Stow's Monument in the church of

residence of Lord Clarendon, 476 Chair of Wickliffe, 35 St Andrew under Shaft, London, 249 Portrait of Gilbert Burnet,

486 Portrait Illumination-Early Printing-Office, 36 James Howell,

501

255 Portrait of Sir William Temple, Portrait of James I. of Scotland, 36 Autograph of Howell,

508

256 Portrait of John Locke, View of Dunkeld Cathedral, 44 Portrait of William Camden, 262 | Autograph of Locke,

508 Portrait of Howard, Earl of Surrey, 46 Autograph of Camden,

262 View of the Birthplace of Locke, 509 Portrait of Sir David Lyndsay, 49 Portrait of Thomas May,

264 Seal of Locke,

510 Portrait of William Caxton, 55 Portrait of Thomas Hobbes,

266 Portrait of the Ilonourable Robert Portrait of Sir Thomas More, 59 Portrait of Robert Burton, 272 Boyle,

516 59 Autograph of Sir Thomas More, Tomb of Burton,

521

274 Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton, Bust of John Leland,

Portrait of John Selden,

282 View of the Birthplace of Newton, 521 Portrait of William Tyndale, 73 Autograph of Selden, 232 Portrait of Thomas Rymer,

527 Portrait of Sir John Cheke,

74 View of the House of Selden, 283 Portrait of Sir George Mackenzie, 630 Autograph of Roger Ascham, 76 Portrait of Archbishop Usher, 285 Monument of Sir George Mackenzie,

285 Mlumination-Spenser introduced Portrait of William Chillingworth, Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, 530 by Sydney to Elizabeth, 79 Portrait of Jeremy Taylor,

290 | Illumination-Rape of the Lock, Portrait of Thomas Sackville, 80 Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne,

298

Portrait of Matthew Prior, Portrait of Edmund Spenser, · 86 Portrait of John Knox,

303 Autograph of Prior,

535 View of Kilcolman Castle, 87 View of the Birthplace of Knox, 303 Portrait of Joseph Addison,

540 Portrait of Michael Drayton, 99 | Portrait of Archbishop Spottiswood, 306 Autograph of Addison,

640 Portrait of Sir Henry Wotton, 104 Illumination-Milton Dictating to View of Addison's Walk, Magdalen Monumental Effigy of Dr Donne, 110 his Daughter, 312 College, Oxford,

541 View of Penshurst, 114 | Portrait of Abraham Cowley, 312 View of Ilolland House,

542 View of Norwich Cathedral, 116 Autograph of Cowley,

312 Portrait of Jonathan Swift,

545 Portrait of Francis Beaumont, 119 View of the House of Cowley, . 313 Autograph of Swift, Portrait of George Herbert, 131 View of the Poets' Corner, West

View of the Toinb of Swift in DubBust of Robert Herrick, 139 minster Abbey, 323 lin Cathedral,

547 Autograph of Robert lerrick, 139 Portrait of Edmund Waller,

325 Portrait of Alexander Pope,

554 View of the Birthplace of Randolph, 145 View of Waller's Tomb,

326 Autograph of Pope, Portrait of Sir William Davenant, 146 Portrait of John Milton,

328 View of Pope's Villa, Twickenham, 555 View of Lethington Castle, 155 View of Ludlow Castle,

Portrait of John Gay,

570 View of Logie Kirk, 156 View of Milton's Cottage at Chal Autograph of Gay,

570 View of Falkland Palace,

font, ·
330 Portrait of Thomas Parnell,

576 View of the Ilouse of the Earl of Fac-simile of Milton's Second Re Autogruph of Somerville,

580 Stirling, 158 ceipt to Simmons,

330 Urn erected by Shenstone to Somer. Portrait of Drummond of HawView of the Remains of Milton's

ville,

381 thorndem :: 158 Ilouse at Forest Hill,

Portrait of Allan Ramsay, View of Ilawthoonden; the sealot. 1:10;vait of Andrew Marvell, 343 Autograph of Ramsay, Drummond, 159.1 Horerait of Samuel Butler, 345 View of Ramsay Lodge,

583 Portrait of Buchanan, 161 View of Rose Street, London, in Portrait of Nicholas Rowe,

590) Autograph of Buchanan,

which Butler died,

346 Autograph and Seal of Vanbrugh, 597 View of Gray's Inn il&u; . : 16+ Portrait of John Dryden,

360 Jllumination--Stuele Writing the View of Globe Therty, 165 Autograph of John Dryden,

360 Tatler in a Coffee Room, Bust of Shakspeare: 176 - View of Burleigh Blouse,

361 Portrait of Sir Richard Steele, 602 Autograph of Shakspeare, 376 Portrait of Thomas Otway,

386 View of Stoele's llouse at LlanView of the Birth place of Shak Illumination-Preacher of the Se

gunnor, speare, 177 venteenth Century, 396 Portrait of Daniel Defoe,

617 View of Charlecote House, 173 Portrait of Algernon Sidney,

405 View of Stanton llarcourt, Oxford. Goblet from the Boar's - Head

Portrait of Lady Rachel Russell, 407 shire, Tavern, 190 Portrait of Thomas Fuller,

411 Autograph of Lord Boling broke, 646 Portrait of Ben Jonson,

191 View of Old St Bride's Church, 412 Boling broke's Monument in Batter. Autograph of Ben Jonson, 191 Portrait of Izaak Walton, 415 sea Church,

647 View of Falcon Tavern, 193 View of Walton's Ilouse,

415 Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Portrait of Fletcher, 203 Portrait of John Evelyn, 419 Montagu,

650 Portrait of Philip Massinger, 217 View of the House of Evelyn, 420 Portrait of the Earl of Shaftesbury, 655 Illumination--Raleigh writing in Portrait of Sir Roger L'Estrange, 423 View of Bentley's Seat, in Trinity Prison, 232 Portrait of Dr Isaac Barrow,

428 College Chapel, Portrait of Sir Philip Sidney, 232 Portrait of Archbishop Tillotson, 434 Portrait of Charles Leslie,

667

545

157

.

CONTENTS OF FIRST VOLUME.

FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO 1400.

FROM 1400 TO 1558.

Page

POETS.

ANGLO-SAXON WRITERS,

1

ISTRODUCTION OF NORMAN FRENCH,
3

Page

THE NORMAN POETS OF ENGLAND,

4 KING JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND,

COMMENCEMENT OF THR PRESENT FORM OF ENGLISH,

James I., a Prisoner in Windsor, first sees Lady Jane

SPEAMENS OF ANGLO-SAXON AND ENGLISH PREVIOUS

Beaufort, who afterwards was his Queen,

37

TO 1344),

5 John LYDGATE,

37

Estract from the Saxon Chronicle, 1154,

5

Description of a Sylvan Retreat,

Extract from the account of the Proceedings at Arthur's The London Lyck penny,

38

Coronation, given by Luyamon, in his translation of ROBERT DENRYSON,

38

Wace, executed about 1184),

5

Dinner given by the Town Mouse to the Country Mouse, 38

Extract from a Charter of Henry III., A. D. 1258, in the From the Moral,

39

common langunge of the time,

6 The Garment of Good Ladies,

Tus RHYMING CHRONICLERS,

6 William DUN BAR,

40

The Muster for the First Crusade,

6 The Merle and Nightingale,

The Siege of Antioch,

7 The Dance,

The Interview of Vortigern with Rowen, the beautiful Tidings fra the Session,

43

Daughter of Ilengist,

8 Of Discretion in Giving and Taking,

43

Fabulous account of the first Ilighways in England, 8 Gavin DOUGLAS,

Praise of Good Women,

8

Apostrophe to Honour,

ENGLISH METRICAL ROMANCES,

8

Morning in May,

44

Extract from the King of Tars,

9 JOHN SKELTON,

45

Extract from the Squire of Low Degree,

10

To Mistress Margaret Hussey,

45

IN MEDIATE PREDECESSORS OF CHAUCER,

11

EARL OF SURREY,

46

What is in Ileaven,

11

Prisoner in Windsor, he recounteth his Pleasure there

ROBERT LANGLAND,

11 passed,

46

Estracts from Pierce Plowman,

11 Description and Praise of his Love Geraldine,

47

GEOFFREY CHAUCER,

12 How no age is content with his own estate, and how the

Select Characters from the Canterbury Pilgrimage, 15 age of children is the happiest, if they had skill to un-

Description of a Poor Country Widow,

18 derstand it,

The Death of Arcite,

18 The Means to attain Happy Life,

Departure of Custance,

19 Sir Thomas WYATT,

47

The Pardoner's Tale,

19 The Lover's lute cannot be blamed, though it sing of his

The Good Parson,

Lady's unkindness,

An Ironical Ballad on the Duplicity of Women,

The re-cured Lover exulteth in his Freedom, and voweth

Last Verses of Chaucer, written on his Death bed, 23 to remain free until Death,

48

John Gower,

23

That Pleasure is mixed with every Pain,

48

Episode of Rosiphele,

24 The Courtier's Life,

48

The Envious Man and the Miser,

25 Of the Mean and Sure Estate,

48

JOHN BARBOUR,

25 Thomas Tusser,

48

Apostrophe to Freedom,

26 Directions for Cultivating a Hop-Garden,

48

Death of Sir flenry De Bohun,

26 Housewifely Physic,

49

The Battle of Bannockburn,

26 Moral Reflections on the Wind,

49

ANDREW WYNTOUN,

28 SIR DAVID LYNDSAY,

49

St Serf's Ram,

A Carman's Account of a Law-suit,

50

Interview of St Serf with Sathanas,

Supplication in Contemption of Side Tails,

50

The Return of King David II. from Captivity,

28 The Building of the Tower of Babel, and Confusion of

BLIND HARRY,

29

Tongues,

50

Adventure of Wallace while fishing in Irvine Water, 29 MISCELLANEOUS PIECES OF THE SECOND PERIOD,

51
Escape of Wallace from Perth,
30 A Praise of his (the Poet'si Lady,

51

The Death of Wallace,

31 Amantium Irå Amoris Redintegratio est. By Richard

Edwards. 1523-1566,

51

PROSE WRITERS OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY.

Characteristic of an Englishman. By Andrew Bourd 51

Sur JOHN MASDEVILLE,

32 The Nut-Brown Maid,

52

A Mohamedan's Lecture on Christian Vices,

32

The Devil's Head in the Valley Perilous,

33

PROSE WRITERS.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER,

34 Sir John FortESCUE,

54

On Riches,

34 English Courage,

54

Johs WICKLIFTE,

What harm would come to England if the Commons

The Magnificat,

36 thereof were Poor,

54

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