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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, after long enjoying popularity as a selection of polite literature for youths between school and college, has of late years sunk 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 eighteenth century, overlooking even the great names of Chaucer and Spenser, as well as nearly the whole range of rich, though not faultless productions extending between the times of Shakspeare and Dryden. The time seemed to have come for a substitute work, in which at once the revived taste for our early literature should be gratified, 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.

Illumination-Monk writing,

Chair of Bede, -
Illumination-a Minstrel,

Portrait of Chaucer,

Chaucer's Tomb,

Tabard Inn, Southwark,

Portrait of Gower,

Cathedral of Aberdeen,

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LIST

Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh,
Autograph of Raleigh,

View of Lochleven,

View of Hayes Farm, the Birthplace
of Raleigh,
35 Stow's Monument in the church of
St Andrew under Shaft, London,
Portrait of James Howell,
Autograph of Howell,

Portrait of Wickliffe,
Chair of Wickliffe,
Illumination-Early Printing-Office, 36

35

36

Portrait of James I. of Scotland,
View of Dunkeld Cathedral,

44

Portrait of William Camden,
Autograph of Camden,

46

49

Portrait of Thomas May,

55

Portrait of Thomas Hobbes,

59

Portrait of Robert Burton,
Tomb of Burton,

59

Portrait of Howard, Earl of Surrey,
Portrait of Sir David Lyndsay,
Portrait of William Caxton,
Portrait of Sir Thomas More,
Autograph of Sir Thomas More,
Bust of John Leland,
Portrait of William Tyndale,
Portrait of Sir John Cheke,
Autograph of Roger Ascham,
Illumination-Spenser introduced

69 Portrait of John Selden,

73 Autograph of Selden,

74

76

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View of Falkland Palace,

View of the House of the Earl of Stirling,

Portrait of Drummond of Hawthornden,

View of Hawthornden, the seat of Drummond,

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Prison,

Portrait of Sir Philip Sidney,

.

Portrait of Buchanan,
Autograph of Buchanan,
View of Gray's Inn Hall,
View of Globe Theatre,
Bust of Shakspeare,
Autograph of Shakspeare, ·

View of the Birthplace of Shak

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Tavern,
Portrait of Ben Jonson,
Autograph of Ben Jonson,

View of Falcon Tavern,
Portrait of Fletcher,
Portrait of Philip Massinger,
Illumination-Raleigh writing in

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OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

177

178

Autograph of Sir Philip Sidney,

Portrait of Richard Hooker,

Portrait of Lord Bacon,

190 191

191

193

203 217

232 232

87 View of the Birthplace of Knox, 99 Portrait of Archbishop Spottiswood, Illumination-Milton Dictating to

104

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View of the House of Selden,
Portrait of Archbishop Usher,
Portrait of William Chillingworth,
Portrait of Jeremy Taylor,

Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne,
Portrait of John Knox,

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View of the House of Cowley, View of the Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey,

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Portrait of Edmund Waller,
View of Waller's Tomb,
Portrait of John Milton,
View of Ludlow Castle,

View of Milton's Cottage at Chal-
font,
Fac-simile of Milton's Second Re-
ceipt to Simmons,

View of the Remains of Milton's
House at Forest Hill,

Portrait of Andrew Marvell,
Portrait of Samuel Butler,

Autograph of John Dryden,
View of Burleigh House,
Portrait of Thomas Otway,
Illumination-Preacher of the Se-

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View of Rose Street, London, in which Butler died,

Portrait of John Dryden,

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venteenth Century,

Portrait of Algernon Sidney,
Portrait of Lady Rachel Russell,
Portrait of Thomas Fuller,

View of Old St Bride's Church,
Portrait of Izaak Walton,
View of Walton's Ilouse,
Portrait of John Evelyn,
View of the House of Evelyn,
Portrait of Sir Roger L'Estrange,
Portrait of Dr Isaac Barrow,
Portrait of Archbishop Tillotson, -

Page
232

235
239

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View of St Lawrence Church,
Portrait of Dr Robert South,
View of Islip Church,

239 Portrait of Richard Baxter,
241 View of Ury House,
244 Portrait of John Bunyan,
244

244

249 255

256 Portrait of John Locke,

View of the Birthplace of Bunyan, Portrait of Lord Clarendon,

Portrait of Gilbert Burnet,

Portrait of Sir William Temple,

262 Autograph of Locke,

262 View of the Birthplace of Locke,

264 Seal of Locke,

266

View of Dunkirk House, the London residence of Lord Clarendon,

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Portrait of the Honourable Robert
Boyle,

272

516

Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton,

274
282 View of the Birthplace of Newton,
282 Portrait of Thomas Rymer,

521 521

527

283 Portrait of Sir George Mackenzie, 530 285 Monument of Sir George Mackenzie,

285

290 298 303

Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, 530 Illumination-Rape of the Lock, 534 Portrait of Matthew Prior,

535

Autograph of Prior,

535

303

540

Portrait of Joseph Addison,
Autograph of Addison,

306

540

View of Addison's Walk, Magdalen
College, Oxford,

View of Holland House,

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View of the Tomb of Swift in Dublin Cathedral,

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Autograph of Gay,

Portrait of Thomas Parnell,
Autograph of Somerville,

330 Urn erected by Shenstone to Somerville,

335

345

Portrait of Allan Ramsay, 343 Autograph of Ramsay, View of Ramsay Lodge, Portrait of Nicholas Rowe, 346 Autograph and Seal of Vanbrugh, Illumination-Steele Writing the Tatler in a Coffee-Room, Portrait of Sir Richard Steele, View of Steele's House at Llangunnor,

360

360 361 386

Portrait of Daniel Defoe,

396 405

View of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire,

407

411 Autograph of Lord Bolingbroke, 412 Bolingbroke's Monument in Batter415 sea Church,

415 Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley

419

Montagu,

Portrait of the Earl of Shaftesbury,
View of Bentley's Seat, in Trinity
College Chapel,

Portrait of Charles Leslie,

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View of Pope's Villa, Twickenham, Portrait of John Gay,

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Apostrophe to Freedom,

Death of Sir Henry De Bohun,
The Battle of Bannockburn,

ANDREW WYNTOUN,

Episode of Rosiphele,

The Envious Man and the Miser,

JOHN BARBOUR,

On Riches,

JOHN WICKLIFFE,
The Magnificat,

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34 SIR JOHN FORTESCUE,

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