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ABBOTT, JACOB (1803-1879). —Educationalist and miscellaneous author, b. at Hallowell, Maine, ed. at Bowdoin Coll. and Andover, entered the ministry of the Congregational Church, but was best known as an educationist and writer of religious and other books, mainly for the young. Among them are Beechnut Tales and The Rollo Books, both of which still have a very wide circulation. ABBOTT, JOHN STEVENS CABOT (1805-1877). —Historian,... more...

Chapter I. The Historical Scope of the Subject. . . . . . . . . . Literature and Science. There are two words in the English language which are now used to express the two great divisions of mental production—Science and Literature; and yet, from their etymology, they have so much in common, that it has been necessary to attach to each a technical meaning, in order that we may employ them without confusion. Science, from the... more...

CHAPTER I THE RENAISSANCE (1) There are times in every man's experience when some sudden widening of the boundaries of his knowledge, some vision of hitherto untried and unrealized possibilities, has come and seemed to bring with it new life and the inspiration of fresh and splendid endeavour. It may be some great book read for the first time not as a book, but as a revelation; it may be the first realization of the extent and moment of what... more...

When I was honoured by the invitation to deliver this course of lectures, I did not accept without some hesitation. I am not qualified to speak with authority upon such subjects as have been treated by my predecessors—the course of political events or the growth of legal institutions. My attention has been chiefly paid to the history of literature, and it might be doubtful whether that study is properly included in the phrase 'historical.'... more...

CHARACTERISTICS OF VICTORIAN LITERATURE That which in England is conveniently described as the Victorian Age of literature has a character of its own, at once brilliant, diverse, and complex. It is an age peculiarly difficult to label in a phrase; but its copious and versatile gifts will make it memorable in the history of modern civilisation. The Victorian Age, it is true, has no Shakespeare or Milton, no Bacon or Hume, no Fielding or... more...


The beginnings of Literature in England. Two poets of the best period of our old poetry, Caedmon and Cynewulf. The language they wrote in. The monastery at Whitby. The story of Caedmon's gift of song. How many of us I wonder, realise in anything like its full extent the beauty and the glory of our Catholic heritage. Do we think how the Great Mother, the keeper of truth, the guardian of beauty, the muse of learning, the fosterer of progress, has... more...

INTRODUCTION A section of a long and splendid literature can be most conveniently treated in one of two ways. It can be divided as one cuts a currant cake or a Gruyère cheese, taking the currants (or the holes) as they come. Or it can be divided as one cuts wood—along the grain: if one thinks that there is a grain. But the two are never the same: the names never come in the same order in actual time as they come in any serious study... more...

WHEN GOD LAUGHS (with compliments to Harry Cowell) "The gods, the gods are stronger; timeFalls down before them, all men's kneesBow, all men's prayers and sorrows climbLike incense toward them; yea, for theseAre gods, Felise." Carquinez had relaxed finally. He stole a glance at the rattling windows, looked upward at the beamed roof, and listened for a moment to the savage roar of the south-easter as it caught the bungalow in its bellowing jaws.... more...

PREFACE I sate to-day, in a pleasant hour, at a place called The Seven Springs, high up in a green valley of the Cotswold hills. Close beside the road, seven clear rills ripple out into a small pool, and the air is musical with the sound of running water. Above me, in a little thicket, a full-fed thrush sent out one long-drawn cadence after another, in the joy of his heart, while the lengthening shadows of bush and tree crept softly over the... more...

CHAPTER I THE CURSE Julian's father and mother dwelt in a castle built on the slope of a hill, in the heart of the woods. The towers at its four corners had pointed roofs covered with leaden tiles, and the foundation rested upon solid rocks, which descended abruptly to the bottom of the moat. In the courtyard, the stone flagging was as immaculate as the floor of a church. Long rain-spouts, representing dragons with yawning jaws, directed the... more...