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BEST LITERATURE OF ENGLAND AND AMERICA
THE LIVES OF ENGLISH AND AMERICAN AUTHORS IN STORY FORM. THEIR
PORTRAITS, THEIR HOMES AND THEIR PERSONAL TRAITS.
HOW THEY WORKED AND WHAT THEY WROTE
CHOICE SELECTIONS FROM THEIR WRITINGS
THE GREAT POETS OF ENGLAND AND AMERICA, FAMOUS NOVELISTS, DISTINGUISHED ESSAYISTS AND
IN LITERATURE, NOTED WOMEN IN LITERATURE, POPULAR WRITERS FOR YOUNG
COMPILED AND EDITED BY
WILLIAM WILFRED BIRDSALL, A. B., Principal of Central School, Philadelphia RUFUS M. JONES, A. M., Professor of Philosophy, Haverford College, and others
SUMPTUOUSLY ILLUSTRATED WITH CRIGINAL DRAWINGS
ALSO HALF-TONE PORTRAITS, PHOTOGRAPHS OF AUTHORS' HOMES
AMERICAN BOOK & BIBLE HOUSE,
HARVARD COLLEGE LICZARY
Supt. 16, 1991
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1897, by
in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
ALL PERSONS ARE WARNED NOT TO INFRINGE UPON OUR COPYRIGHT BY USING FITHER THE
MATTER OR THE PICTURES IN THIS VOLUME.
LITERATURE OF ENGLAND.
FAMOUS POETS OF ENGLAND AND THEIR MASTERPIECES. 41
3. THE GREAT ENGLISH PROSE WRITERS.
WRITERS OF RELIGIOUS CLASSICS.
HE most priceless possession of the people of England and America is their literature. By their inheritance from their ancestors, and by the work of their own genius, they are, in this respect, the richest people on whom the sun has ever shone. There are great epic poems in Greek and Latin; Germany has produced great poets and far-seeing philosophers; France has given to the world historians and novelists; and every nation has contributed to make up the sum of literature worthy of a place in the world's library of masterpieces. But in the English language have been written the stories which best portray the human character, the sweetest songs, the most noble poems; the English historian has seen most deeply into the mists and darkness which shroud the ages of the past; the English philosopher has most clearly understood the forces which move men to action and the laws which control their minds; and all these-poet, historian, traveler, novelist, and philosopher-have poured out their souls in a language whose range and compass express better than any other human tongue all the varying thoughts, emotions, and purposes of man. To know English literature is a liberal education; to love the poems of Milton and Shakespeare, of Longfellow and Tennyson; to take fire at the burning words of Carlyle or to be moved by the noble periods of Emerson; to be stirred by the eloquence of Pitt or Webster; to strive with Gladstone to solve the questions of scholarship or the weightier problems of statesmanship; or to be lifted by Farrar or Spurgeon or MacLaren or Beecher to higher planes of spiritual life and thought, is to be in touch with the