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Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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BEFORE I began to collect my materials for the "Compendium of English Literature," I felt that I could do no sort of justice to the subject should I come down later than 1800; and it was therefore my original intention to publish a similar work, embracing the most prominent authors, dead and living, who have flourished since the beginning of the present century. Such is the present work. I have therefore but few prefatory remarks to make respecting it; for as it is upon the same plan as the "Compendium," I would refer to the preface of that, for my object and design in preparing both.

In this work, as in the other, some may not find a favorite author noticed, nor favorite pieces inserted of many whose names do appear. To such I would say that I have often been embarrassed from the great variety and richness of the materials before me, often balancing, for a long time, what to take and what to reject; and those who know something of the nature of such a work will be most ready to make due allowance for my errors both of omission and of commission. But one thing I can truly say-I have endeavored to represent each author who has a place here, fairly and honestly, according to the best of my judgment, influenced neither by fear nor favor. Where, for instance, any author has shown, by his writings at different periods, that his heart


was particularly and deeply interested in some one great subject, it was clearly my duty, regardless of the censures of any clique or party or set of men, to let his views upon that subject appear. To have acted otherwise would have been alike cowardly and dishonest; and rather than be guilty of such treachery to any writer, I would that another edition of my work should never see the light.

In conclusion, I would only remark that I can wish no greater favor shown to this work than has been extended to its predecessor. Errors in judgment and taste may doubtless be pointed out, and most happy shall I be, before the work is put into a permanent form, to receive, from any quarter, any suggestions that may correct them. But, as I have before said, I have honestly endeavored to do my authors justice; and, having made my book for no classes or sects, for no particular latitudes, and for no special market, but to promote the cause of sound learning and education in harmony with pure Christian morals, the best interests of humanity, and the cause of universal truth, I now commit it to the judgment of an intelligent public.

PHILADELPHIA, July 4, 1851.


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