ESSAYS INTRODUCTORY THE SO-CALLED HOMERIC HYMNS “The existing collection of the Hymns is of unknown editorship, unknown date, and unknown purpose,” says Baumeister.  Why any man should have collected the little preludes of five or six lines in length, and of purely conventional character, while he did not copy out the longer poems to which they probably served as preludes, is a mystery.  The celebrated Wolf, who opened the... more...

CHAPTER I THE HISTORICAL ELEMENTS Section I. The Problem. The unique MS of Beowulf may be, and if possible should be, seen by the student in the British Museum. It is a good specimen of the elegant script of Anglo-Saxon times: "a book got up with some care," as if intended for the library of a nobleman or of a monastery. Yet this MS is removed from the date when the poem was composed and from the events which it narrates (so far as these... more...

INTRODUCTION We have a Book lately publish'd here which hath of late taken up the whole conversation of the town. Tis said to be writ by Swift. It is called, The travells of Lemuell Gulliver in two Volumes. It hath had a very great sale. People differ vastly in their opinions of it, for some think it hath a great deal of wit, but others say, it hath none at all. John Gay to James Dormer (22 November 1726)   As Gay's letter suggests,... more...