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The design of this book is to encourage an acquaintance with the masters of English Literature. To this end the compiler has attempted to present specimens which fairly represent the versatility of the authors, and which illustrate the peculiarities of their several styles. It is, of course, impossible to present dramas, epics, histories, and essays in their entirety, but wherever possible the endeavor has been made to offer some entire poem of the writer. It is hoped that any student of any age may be enabled by the use of this book to begin an acquaintance with the authors, and be led by his interest to use the Index as direction for further reading. An attempt has been made to present authorized texts and through the Glossary to supply such explanations as are not accessible through Webster's Unabridged; on the other hand, it has been considered injurious to explain what the student may easily ascertain for himself without access to any library, but a dictionary. The compiler has, in his capacity of instructor, been made very familiar with what is ordinarily attainable with young students, and has been guided in his selections and glossary by this experience.
In the case of writers like Swift, Shelley, and Byron, certain characteristic selections are excluded by the fact that coarseness, immature views, and sensuality should not be emphasized even when among the qualities of an author.
The Index presents the date of publication of the first work, which, taken in connection with dates of birth and death, seems to be the nearest approach that one can make towards marking the contemporaneousness of authors. The compiler has consulted all reputable editions, but in making his selections has not been content to appropriate the work of others, but has re-read all the authors mentioned in this manual.
The compiler does not believe that any book can continue to live unless it fills a useful office; nor does he think that a book is valueless because it does not meet the wants of everybody. He therefore trusts that as the work has been done neither carelessly nor without an attempt at adequate preparation, it may meet with acceptance upon the part of those who have yet to acquire an acquaintance with English literature.
INDEX TO AUTHORS AND SELECTIONS,
TOGETHER WITH REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READINGS.
ADDISON, JOSEPH. b. Milston, England, 1672; d. London, 1719; pub-
1. Cato, Act V., Scene I. Cato's Soliloquy, 133.
5. The Spectator: No. 275, Dissection of a Beau's Head, 125.
and Act II., Scene V.; The Spectator (Criticisms on Paradise Lost;
Further Rej rences : The various chapters of The Advancement
The Woman Hater,
BEAUMONT, FRANCIS. b. Leicestershire, 1586;
d. London, .1615;
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER (continued).
5. To Sleep, 70.
BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT. b. Ledbury, Herefordshire, 1809; d.
1. Cowper's Grave, 347.
4. The Sleep, 355.
BROWNING, ROBERT. b. Camberwell, London, 1812; Paulinea Frag-
1. A Face, 393.
3. My Last Duchess, 395.
BURNS, ROBERT. b. Ayr, Scotland, 1759; d. Dumfries, Scotland,
1. Auld Lang Syne, 232.
8. Unco Guid, 231.