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OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE

A COURSE OF LECTURES DELIVERED IN THE

LOWELL INSTITUTE

BY

JOHN BASCOM

Author of “Principles of Psychology,” “Science, Philosophy and

Religion,” “Æsthetics"

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HARVARD
UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY
OCT 19 1959

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by

JOHN BASCOM,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

THE MIDDLETON STEREOTYPE COMPANY,

GREENPORT, LONG ISLAND.

PREFACE.

THERE are, in each department of knowledge, central facts and germinant principles. If we reach these early and well, the labors of acquisition are greatly lightened. They serve to explain to the mind, and to hold for the memory, those multitudinous minor facts which otherwise confuse the one and burden the other. It is a secret of wise acquisition, to learn the most in learning the least, and we do this by directing attention at once to leading, fruitful facts. The ground is thus outlined; we know where to look for particulars; and these, as they come to us by direct search, or as incidents of growing information, fall at once into their place, strengthen our general hold of truth, and are themselves securely rolled in and bound up in the compact bundle of knowledge.

The object of the lectures herewith published is to put the general reader and the student of English Literature into early possession of the leading influences operative in it, and thus to enable them to peruse and to study its numerous productions with more insight, more pleasure, a better mastery of relations, and a more ready retention of facts. A net-work of forces are here given, which, covering the entire field, may enable them easily to in

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