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A SERIES OF SPECIMENS OF BRITISH WRITERS
IN PROSE AND VERSE.
CONNECTED BY A HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL NARRATIVE.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.
Tuis work originated in a desire, on the part of the Publishers, to supply what they considered a defi. ciency in the Literature addressed at the present time to the great body of the People. In the late orts for the improvement of the popular mind, the removal of mere ignorance has been the chief cbjcct 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 und 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 porthes 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
sharacter, and the very scenery and artificial objects which mark our soil—to all who are acquainted
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 Engani. Assuredly, in our common reverence for a Shakspeare, a Milton, a Scott, we have a social and miting 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 onsequence of a change in public taste. It was almost exclusively devoted to the rhetorical literature, sepaat 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 · bamble 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 through-
441 Illumination-a Minstrel, 8 Portrait of Lord Bacon,
239 View of Islip Church, 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, 25 View of Hayes Farm, the Birthplace Portrait of Lord Clarendon,
475 View of Lochleven, 28 of Raleigh,
244 View of Dunkirk House, 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 Ilumination-Early Printing-Office, 36 Portrait of James Howell,
Portrait of Sir William Temple, Portrait of James I. of Scotland, 36 | Autograph of Howell,
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 Honourable Robert Portrait of Sir Thomas More, 59 Portrait of Robert Burton,
516 Autograph of Sir Thomas More, 59 Tomb of Burton,
274 Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton, Bust of John Leland, 69 Portrait of John Selden,
282 View of the Birthplace of Newton, 521 Portrait of William Tyndale, 73 Autograph of Selden,
282 | Portrait of Thomas Rymer,
527 Portrait of Sir John Cheke,
74 View of the House of Selden, 283 Portrait of Sir George Mackenzie, 830 Autograph of Roger Ascham, 76 Portrait of Archbishop Usher,
Monument of Sir George Mackenzie, Mlumination-Spenser introduced Portrait of William Chillingworth, 285 Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, 530 by Sydney to Elizabeth, 79 | Portrait of Jeremy Taylor, 200 Mumination-Rape of the Lock,
534 Portrait of Thomas Sackville, 80 | Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne, 293 Portrait of Matthew Prior, Portrait of Edmund Spenser, 86 | Portrait of John Knox,
303 Autograph of Prior, 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,
540 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 Holland House, 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,
345 Portrait of George Herbert,
131 View of the Poets' Corner, West- View of the Tomb of Swift in DubBust of Robert Herrick, 139 minster Abbey,
323 lin Cathedral, Autograph of Robert Herrick, 139 Portrait of Edmund Waller, 325 Portrait of Alexander Pope,
664 View of the Birthplace of Randolph, 145 View of Waller's Tomb,
326 Autograph of Pope,
554 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, 329 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, 157 font, 330 Portrait of Thomas Parnell,
576 View of the House of the Earl of Fac-simile of Milton's Second Re- Autograph of Somerville, Stirling, 1.58 ceipt to Simmons,
330 Urn erected by Shenstone to Somer. Portrait of Drummond of Haw. View of the Remains of Milton's
681 thornden, 158 House at Forest Hill, 335 Portrait of Allan Ramsay,
682 View of Hawthornden, the seat of Portrait of Andrew Marvell, 343 Autograph of Ramsay,
082 Drummond, 169 | Portrait of Bamuel Butler,
345 View of Kamsay Lodge, Portrait of Buchanan, . 161 View of Rose Street, London, in Portrait of Nicholas Rowe,
5980 Autograph of Buchanan, 161 which Butler died, 346 Autograph and Seal of Vanbrugh,
191 View of Gray's Inn Hall, 164 Portrait of John Dryden,
360 Ilumination Steele Writing the View of Globe Theatre, 165 Autograph of John Dryden,
Tatler in a Coffee-Room, Bust of Shakspeare, 176 View of Burleigh House,
Portrait of Sir Richard Steele, Autograph of Shakspeare, . 176 Portrnit of Thomas Otway,
386 View of Steele's llouse at Lian. View of the Birthplace of Shak- Ilumination-Preacher of the Se
venteenth Century, ·
617 View of Charlecote House, 178 | Portrait of Algernon Sidney,
405 View of Stanton Harcourt, Oxford. Goblet from the Boar's - Head Portrait of Lady Rachel Russell,
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 Bolingbroke's Monument in Batter. Autograph of Ben Jonson, 191 Portrait of Iraak Walton, 415 sea Church,
647 View of Falcon Tavern, 193 | View of Walton's House,
413 Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Portrait of Fletcher, 203 i Portrait of John Evelyn, 419 Montagu,
680 Portrait of Philip Massinger, 217 | View of the House of Evelyn, 4:20 | Portrait of the Earl of Shaftesbury, 655 Illumination--Raleigh writing in Portrait of Sir Roger L'Estrange, View of Bentley's Seat, in Trinity Prison, 232 Portrait of Dr Isaac Barrow, .
CONTENTS OF FIRST VOLUME.
CORNESCEMENT OF THE PRESENT FORM OF ENGLISH, 4
James I., a Prisoner in Windsor, first sees Lady Jane
An Ironical Ballad on the Duplicity of Women,
22 The re-cured Lover exulteth in his Freedom, and voweth
Apostrophe to Freedom,