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ENGLISH LITEKATUBE,

SELECTED FROM THE CHIEF ENGLISH WRITERS,
AND ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY.

WITH NOTES.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

LONDON:

JOHN MUERAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

1869.

The right of Translation is reserved.

2.yo. <l My

DR. WM. SMITH'S SMALLER SERIES.

These Volumes l.ave been drawn up chiefly for the lower forms in Schools, at the request of several teachers, who require for their pupils more elementary books than the Student's Manuals.

Uniform with the present Volume,

A COMPANION VOLUME OF A HISTORY OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE.

Already Published,

1. A SMALLER HISTORY OF ENGLAND. With

68 Woodcuts. lUmo. 3s. Gd.

2. A SMALLER HISTORY OF GREECE. With 74

Woodcuts. 16mo. 3s. Gd.

3. A SMALLER HISTORY OF ROME. With 79

Woodcuts. lCmo. 3n. Gd.

4. A SMALLER CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. With

Translations from the Ancient Foeta, and Questions on the
Work. With 90 Woodcuts. l6mo. 3d. Gd.

In Pi'eparation,

A SMALLER HISTORY OF THE OLD AND NEW

TESTAMENTS. With Woodcuts. lCmo.

LONDON; PRINTED BV WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET,
AND CHARING CROSS.

PREFACE.

The important position which the study of English Literature is now taking in Education has led to the publication of this Work and of the companion volume of a 'History of English Literature.' Both books have been undertaken at the request ol many eminent teachers, and no pains have been spared to adapt them to the purpose for which they are designed, as elementary works to be used in schools. Neither will fully answer its object without the other; the two will be found to be of mutual assistance—the one as giving a rapid but trustworthy sketch of the lives of our chief writers, and of the successive influences which imparted to their writings their peculiar character; the other as supplying choice examples of the works themselves, accompanied by all the explanations required for their perfect comprehension.

The following Work contains Specimens of all the chief English Writers from the earliest times to the end of the Georgian era, arranged in chronological order. They are classified in three divisions—Old English, Middle English, and Modern English, the old and misleading nomenclature of Anglo-Saxon and SemiSaxon being entirely abandoned. Even the strongest advocate of the old phraseology will not deny that both the English of the tenth, and the English of the nineteenth centuries are Teutonic tongues. Unless, therefore, he is prepared to maintain that they are different Teutonic tongues, he must admit the propriety of a classification that expresses their substantial identity. A careful comparison of the Extracts from the Saxon Chronicle with those from Wordsworth is in itself sufficient to prove the essential identity of our language, though many superficial differences are

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