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2 7 SEP 1972



TEIS work originated in a desire, on the part of the Publishers, to supply what they considered a deficiency in the Literature addressed at the present time to the great body of the People. In the late efforts for the improvement of the popular mind, the removal of mere ignorance has been the chief object held in view: attention has been mainly given to what might be expected to impart technical knowledge; and in the cultivation of what is certainly but a branch of the intellectual powers, it has been thought that the great end was gained. It is not necessary here to present arguments establishing that there are faculties for cognising the beautiful in art, thought, and feeling, as well as for perceiving "sand enjoying the truths of physical science and of fact. Nor is it needful to show how elegant and reflective literature, especially, tends to moralise, to soften, and to adorn the soul and life of man.

Assuming this as granted, we were anxious to take the aid of the press-or rather of the Printing | Machine, for by it alone could the object be accomplished-to bring the belles lettres into the list of those agencies which are now operating for the mental advancement of the middle and humbler portians of society.

1 It appeared that, for a first effort, nothing could be more suitable than a systematised series of

extracts from our national authors ; "a concentration"—to quote the language of the prospectus_“ of

the best productions of English intellect, from Anglo-Saxon to the present times, in the various departiments headed by Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton-by More, Bacon, Locke-by Hooker, Taylor, Barrow

by Addison, Johnson, Goldsmith-by Hume, Robertson, Gibbon—set in a biographical and critical history 1 of the literature itself.” By this a double end might, it seemed, be served; as the idea of the work in.

daded the embodiment of a distinct and valuable portion of knowledge, as well as that mass of polite Eterature which was looked to for the effect above described. In the knowledge of what has been done by English literary genius in all ages, it cannot be doubted that we have a branch of the national history, not only in itself important, as well as interesting, but which reflects a light upon other departments of history-for is not the Elizabethan Drama, for example, an exponent, to some extent, of the state of the sational mind at the time, and is it not equally one of the influences which may be presumed to have modified that mind in the age which followed? Nor is it to be overlooked, how important an end is to

be attained by training the entire people to venerate the thoughtful and eloquent of past and present | tine These gifted beings may be said to have endeared our language and institutions-our national

character, and the very scenery and artificial objects which mark our soil—to all who are acquainted with, and can appreciate their writings. A regard for our national authors enters into and forms part of the most sacred feelings of every educated man, and it would not be easy to estimate in what degree it is to this sentiment that we are indebted for all of good and great that centres in the name of England Assuredly, in our common reverence for a Shakspeare, a Milton, a Scott, we have a social and zaiting sentiment, which not only contains in itself part of our happiness as a people, but much that counteracts influences that tend to set us in division.

A more special utility is contemplated for this work, in its serving to introduce the young to the Pantheon of English authors. The “ Elegant Extracts” of Dr Knox, after long enjoying popularity as a selection of polite literature for youths between school and college, has of late years sunk out of notice, in consequence of a change in public taste. It was almost exclusively devoted to the rhetorical literature, elegant but artificial, which flourished during the earlier half of the eighteenth century, overlooking even the great names of Chaucer and Spenser, as well as nearly the whole range of rich, though not faultless prodactions extending between the times of Shakspeare and Dryden. The time seemed to have come for a substitute work, in which at once the revived taste for our early literature should be gratified, and due

attention be given to the authors who have lived since the time of Knox. Such a work it has been the l' Bamble aim of the editor to produce in that which is now laid before the public.

He takes this opportunity of acknowledging that very important assistance has been rendered throughout the Cyclopædia of English Literature, and particularly in the poetical department, by Mr Robert Carruthers of Inverness.

EDINBURGA, August 15, 1843.



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Page 1


Illumination-Monk writing,

Autograph of Sir Philip Sidney, - 232 View of St Lawrence Church,

Chair of Bede, - - •

Portrait of Richard Hooker, 235 Portrait of Dr Robert South, ·

Hlumination-a Minstrel,

Portrait of Lord Bacon, . - 239 | View of Islip Church,

Portrait of Chaucer, .

12 Autograph of Bacon, -

239 Portrait of Richard Baxter, .

Chaucer's Tomb, .

Monument of Bacon,

241 View of Ury House,

Tabard Inn, Southwark,

Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh, 244 Portrait of John Bunyan, .

Portrait of Gower,

Autograph of Raleigh,

244 View of the Birthplace of Bunyan,

Cathedral of Aberdeen,

View of Hayes Farm, the Birthplace Portrait of Lord Clarendon,

View of Lochleven,

of Raleigh,

- 244 | View of Dunkirk House, the London

Portrait of Wickliffe,

Stow's Monument in the church of residence of Lord Clarendon,


Chair of Wickliffe,

St Andrew under Shaft, London, 249 Portrait of Gilbert Burnet, .

Illumination-Early Printing-Office, | Portrait of James Howell, - 255 Portrait of Sir William Temple, B01
Portrait of James L. of Scotland, -

Autograph of Howell,

256 Portrait of John Locke, . 508
View of Dunkeld Cathedral, .
Portrait of William Camden, . 262 Autograph of Locke, -

Portrait of Howard, Earl of Surrey, Autograph of Camden, . . 262 View of the Birthplace of Locke,
Portrait of Sir David Lyndsay, - Portrait of Thomas May,

Seal of Locke, .
Portrait of William Caxton, -

Portrait of Thomas Hobbes,

| Portrait of the Honourable Robert

Portrait of Sir Thomas More,

Portrait of Robert Burton,

Boyle, - - - - 516

Autograph of Sir Thomas More,

Tomb of Burton, .

| Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton, -

Bust of John Leland, -

Portrait of John Selden,

282 View of the Birthplace of Newton,

Portrait of William Tyndale,

Autograph of Selden, - - 282 | Portrait of Thomas Rymer, - 627
Portrait of Sir John Cheke, .

View of the House of Selden, - 283 | Portrait of Sir George Mackenzie,
Autograph of Roger Ascham, . Portrait of Archbishop Usher, - 285 Monument of Sir George Mackenzie,
Illumination-Spenser introduced Portrait of William Chillingworth, | Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, 530
by Sydney to Elizabeth, .

Portrait of Jeremy Taylor, - 200 Mumination-Rape of the Lock, - 634
Portrait of Thomas Sackville, . Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne, 293 | Portrait of Matthew Prior,
Portrait of Edmund Spenser,

Portrait of John Knox, - . 303 | Autograph of Prior, . .
View of Kilcolman Castle,
View of the Birthplace of Knox,

Portrait of Joseph Addison, . 540
Portrait of Michael Drayton, -

Portrait of Archbishop Spottiswood, 306 Autograph of Addison, - -

Portrait of Sir Henry Wotton, . Ilumination-Milton Dictating to View of Addison's Walk, Magdalen

Monumental Effigy of Dr Donne, 110 his Daughter, - - - 312 College, Oxford, - - 541

View of Penshurst, .

114 Portrait of Abraham Cowley, - 312 View of Holland House, . . 542

View of Norwich Cathedral,

116 Autograph of Cowley, -

- 312 Portrait of Jonathan Swift, .

Portrait of Francis Beaumont,

| View of the House of Cowley, - 313 Autograph of Swift,
Portrait of George Herbert, - 131 | View of the Poets' Corner, West-

View of the Tomb of Swift in Dub-

Bust of Robert Herrick, -

139 minster Abbey, - -

323 lin Cathedral,

Autograph of Robert Herrick,

Portrait of Edmund Waller, -

Portrait of Alexander Pope,


View of the Birthplace of Randolph, 145 | View of Waller's Tomb, .

Autograph of Pope, -

Portrait of Sir William Davenant, 146 Portrait of John Milton,

323 View of Pope's Villa, Twickenham,
View of Lethington Castle, - 155 | View of Ludlow Castle, . 329 Portrait of John Gay,
View of Logie Kirk, - - 156 View of Milton's Cottage at Chal-

Autograph of Gay, -

View of Falkland Palace,

157 font, . . . . 30 Portrait of Thomas Parnell,


View of the House of the Earl of Fac-simile of Milton's Second Re-

Autograph of Somerville,

Stirling, · · · ·

ceipt to Simmons, • -

Urn erected by Shenstone to Somer-

Portrait of Drummond of Haw. View of the Remains of Milton's

ville, - - - -

thornden, . . . 158 House at Forest Hill, . • . 335 Portrait of Allan Ramsay, - 582

View of Hawthornden, the seat of Portrait of Andrew Marvell, . 343 Autograph of Ramsay,

Drummond, · ·

Portrait of Samuel Butler,

345 View of Ramsay Lodge, . . 383

Portrait of Buchanan, . -

View of Rose Street, London, in Portrait of Nicholas Rowe, .

Autograph of Buchanan,

- 161 which Butler died,

346 Autograph and Seal of Vanbrugh,

View of Gray's Inn Hall, . 164 Portrait of John Dryden, .

Illumination Steele Writing the

View of Globe Theatre, . . 165 Autograph of John Dryden, . 360 Tatler in a Coffee-Room,

Bust of Shakspeare, .

176 View of Burleigh Ilouse, - 361 Portrait of Sir Richard Steele,


Autograph of Shakspeare,

| Portrnit of Thomas Otway,

306 View of Steele's House at Llan.

View of the Birthplace of Shak-

Illumination-Preacher of the Se-

gunnor, . . .

speare, . .

177 venteenth Century, • . 396 Portrait of Daniel Defoe,

View of Charlecote House, . 178 Portrait of Algernon Sidney, - 405 View of Stanton Harcourt, Oxford-

Goblet from the Boar's - Head

Portrait of Lady Rachel Russell, 407 shire,

Tavern, .

. - 190 Portrait of Thomas Fuller, . 411 | Autograph of Lord Boling broke, - 646

Portrait of Ben Jonson,

191 | View of Old St Bride's Church, 412 Bolingbroke's Monument in Batter.

Autograph of Ben Jonson,

191 | Portrait of Izaak Walton.

415 sea Church, . .

View of Falcon Tavern,

193 View of Walton's House, . - 415 Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley

Portrait of Fletcher,

Portrait of John Evelyn,

419 Montagu, . .

Portrait of Philip Massinger, .
| View of the House of Evelyn,

Portrait of the Earl of Shaftesbury,
Illumination-Raleigh writing in

Portrait of Sir Roger L'Estrange, 423 | View of Bentley's Seat, in Trinity

Prison, . . -

232 Portrait of Dr Isaac Barrow, .

College Chapel, .

Portrait Philip Sidney.

272 | Portrait of Archbishop Tillotson, - 434 Portrait of Charles Leslie,

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Second Period.


FROM 1400 TO 1558.








James I., a Prisoner in Windsor, first sees Lady Jane


Beaufort, who afterwards was his Queen,

To 1300, . . . . . .


Extract from the Saxon Chronicle, 1154,

Description of a Sylvan Retreat,
Estract from the account of the Proceedings at Arthur's The London Lyckpenny,

Coronation, given by Layamon, in his translation of ROBERT HENRYSON,

Wace, executed about 1180, . . . | Dinner given by the Town Mouse to the Country Mouse,

| Extract from a Charter of Henry III., A. D. 1258, in the From the Moral,

ermon language of the time, .

The Garment of Good Ladies,


The Muster for the First Crusade,

The Merle and Nightingale,

The Siege of Antioch, .

The Dance, .

The Interview of Vortigern with Rowen, the beautiful Tidings fra the Session, .

Denghter of Hengist, . .

Of Discretion in Giving and Taki

Fabulous account of the first Highways in England,


Praise of Good Women,

. . . . 8 Apostrophe to Honour, . . .


Morning in May, . .

Extract from the King of Tars,


1 Extract from the Squire of Low Degree, .

To Mistress Margaret Hussey,



What is in Heaven,

Prisoner in Windsor, he recounteth his Pleasure there


passed, , , ,

Extracts from Pierce Plowman, .

Description and Praise of his Love Geraldine,


How no age is content with his own estate, and how the

Select Characters from the Canterbury Pilgrimage,

age of children is the happiest, if they had skill to un-

Description of a Poor Country Widow, .

derstand it,

The Death of Arcite,

The Means to attain Happy Life, . .

Departure of Cnstance,

Sir Thomas WYATT,

The Pardoner's Tale.

The Lover's lute cannot be blamed, though it sing of

The Good Parson,

Lady's unkindness, . . .

An Ironical Ballad on the Duplicity of Wornen,

The re-cured Lover exulteth in his Freedom, and voweth

Last Verses of Chaucer, written on his Deathbed,

to remain free until Death, . .

Jon Gov EB,

That Pleasure is mixed with every Pain,

Episode of Rosiphele, .

The Courtier's Life, . .

The Envious Man and the Miser,

Of the Mean and Sure Estate, . .

Joss BARBOUR, . .

Thomas TUSSER, . .
Apostrophe to Freedom, .

Directions for Cultivating a Hop-Garden,

Death of Sir Henry De Bohun,

Housewifely Physic, .

The Battle of Bannockburn,

Moral Reflections on the Wind,

1 ASDREW WYXTOUN, . . . . .


Be Serf's Ram,

28 A Carman's Account of a Law-suit, , . .

Interview of St Serf with Sathanas, . .

Supplication in Contemption of Side Tails,

The Return of King David IL from Captivity,

The Building of the Tower of Babel, and Confusion of

Bursa HARRY, . . . .

Tongues, . . . . . .

Adventure of Wallace while fishing in Irvine Water,


Escape of Wallace from Perth.

A Praise of his (the Poet's) Lady, , . .

The Death of Wallace,

Amantium Iræ Amoris Redintegratio est. By Richard

Edwards. 1523-1566, .


Characteristic of an Englishman. By Andrew Bourd


The Nut Brown Maid,

A Mohanedan's Lecture on Christian Vices,

The Devil's Head in the Valley Perilous,



. . . 34 Sir John FORTESCUE . . . .

i On Riches, . . . .

English Courage,


What harm would come to England if the Commons

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