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of Authors, by my friend S. Austin Allibone, LL.D., in which bibliography is a strong feature. I am not called upon to eulogize that noble work, but I cannot help saying that I have found it invaluable, and that whether mentioned or not, no writer can treat of English authors without constant recurrence to its accurate columns: it is a literary marvel of our age.
It will be observed that the remoter periods of the literature are those in which the historic teachings are the most distinctly visible; we see them from a vantage ground, in their full scope, and in the interrelations of their parts. Although in the more modern periods the number of writers is greatly increased, we are too near to discern the entire period, and are in danger of becoming partisans, by reason of our limited view. Especially is this true of the age in which we live. Contemporary history is but party-chronicle: the true philosophic history can only be written when distance and elevation give due scope to our vision.
The principle I have laid down is best illustrated by the great literary masters. Those of less degree have been treated at less length, and many of them will be found in the smaller print, to save space. Those who study the book should study the small print as carefully as the other.
After a somewhat elaborate exposition of English literature, I could not induce myself to tack on an inadequate chapter on American literature; and, besides, I think that to treat the two subjects in one volume would be as incongruous as to write a joint biography of Marlborough and Washington. American literature is too great and noble, and has had too marvelous a development to be made an appendix to English literature.
If time shall serve, I hope to prepare a separate volume, exhibiting the stages of our literature in the Colonial period, the Revolutionary epoch, the time of Constitutional establishment, and the present period. It will be found to illustrate these historical divisions in a remarkable manner.
THE LEHIGH UNIVERSITY, October, 1872.
THE HISTORICAL SCOPE OF THE SUBJECT.
Literature and Science - English Literature - General Principle –
Celts and Cymry — Roman Conquest — Coming of the Saxons —
Danish Invasions - The Norman Conquest — Changes in Lan-
The Uses of Literature – Italy, France, England -- Purpose of the
Work Celtic Literary Remains Druids and Druidism
Roman Writers Psalter of Cashel Welsh Triads and Ma-
The Lineage of the Anglo-Saxon – Earliest Saxon Poem — Metrical
Arrangement - Periphrasis and Alliteration – Beowulf - Caed.
Biography – Ecclesiastical History – The Recorded Miracles —
Bede's Latin — Other Writers — The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:
its Value - Alfred the Great - Effect of the Danish Invasions
THE NORMAN CONQUEST AND ITS EARLIEST LITERATURE.
Norman Rule Its Oppression Its Benefits William of
Malmesbury – Geoffrey of Monmouth Other Latin Chron-
icles — Anglo-Norman Poets — Richard Wace — Other Poets
Semi-Saxon Literature - Layamon - The Ormulum Robert of
Gloucester Langland. Piers Plowman Piers Plowman's
A New Era: Chaucer - Italian Influence - Chaucer as a Founder
- Earlier Poems The Canterbury Tales - Characters - Sa-
Historical Facts — Reform in Religion — The Clergy, Regular and
Secular The Friar and the Sompnour The Pardonere -
The Poure Persone -- John Wiclif The Translation of the
THE BARREN PERIOD BETWEEN CHAUCER AND SPENSER.
Greek Literature Invention of Printing. Caxton Contem.
porary History Skelton Wyatt — Surrey - Sir Thomas
The Great Change — Edward VI. and Mary – Sidney The
Harvey – Edmund Spenser: Shepherd's Calendar - His Great
The Faerie Queene The Plan Proposed - Illustrations of the
History – The Knight and the Lady — The Wood of Error and
the Hermitage – The Crusades — Britomartis and Sir Artegal
Elizabeth — Mary Queen of Scots Other Works - Spenser's
Origin of the Drama – Miracle Plays — Moralities - First Comedy
- Early Tragedies — Christopher Marlowe - Other Dramatists —
The Power of Shakspeare — Meagre Early History – Doubts of
his Identity – What is known — Marries and goes to London –
" Venus” and “Lucrece" - Retirement and Death – Literary
Habitudes — Variety of the Plays — Table of Dates and Sources
WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE (CONTINUED).
The Grounds of his Fame - Creation of Character - Imagination
and Fancy Power of Expression His Faults - Influence of
Elizabeth · Sonnets Ireland and Collier Concordance
BACON, AND THE RISE OF THE NEW PHILOSOPHY.
Birth and Early Life — Treatment of Essex - His Appointments
His Fall — Writes Philosophy – Magna Instauratio — His De-
Early Versions — The Septuagint — The Vulgate — Wiclif; Tyn-
dale Coverdale; Cranmer - Geneva; Bishop's Bible - King
JOHN MILTON, AND THE ENGLISH COMMONWEALTH.
Historical Facts - Charles I. - Religious Extremes — Cromwell
Birth and Early Works Views of Marriage — Other Prose
Works — Effects of the Restoration – Estimate of his Prose · 174
The Blind Poet Paradise Lost - Milton and Dante His
Faults — Characteristics of the Age Paradise Regained