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INTRODUCTION Since the first publication of Walter Harte's An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad,[] it has reappeared more than once: the unsold sheets of the first edition were included in A Collection of Pieces in Verse and Prose, Which Have Been Publish'd on Occasion of the Dunciad (1732), and the Essay is also found in at least three late eighteenth- or early nineteenth-century... 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... 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... more...

INTRODUCTION THE KINDS OF CRITICISM It is probably unnecessary, and might possibly be impertinent, to renew here at any length the old debate between reviewers as reviewers, and reviewers as authors—the debate whether the reissue of work contributed to periodicals is desirable or not. The plea that half the best prose literature of this century would be inaccessible if the practice had been... more...

I.—ON THE DISINTERMENT OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA. MY DEAR ——,—It is no en the Voyage from St. Helena asy task in this world to distinguish between what is great in it, and what is mean; and many and many is the puzzle that I have had in reading History (or the works of fiction which go by that name), to know whether I should laud up to the skies, and endeavor, to the best of my small... more...

ALEXANDRE DUMAS Alexandre Dumas is a writer, and his life is a topic, of which his devotees never weary.  Indeed, one lifetime is not long enough wherein to tire of them.  The long days and years of Hilpa and Shalum, in Addison—the antediluvian age, when a picnic lasted for half a century and a courtship for two hundred years, might have sufficed for an exhaustive study of Dumas.  No such study... more...

A book appeared not long ago of which it was the professed object to give to the modern generation of lazy readers the pith of Boswell's immortal biography. I shall, for sufficient reasons, refrain from discussing the merits of the performance. One remark, indeed, may be made in passing. The circle of readers to whom such a book is welcome must, of necessity, be limited. To the true lovers of... more...

CHAPTER I.INTRODUCTORY. Village libraries—Difficulties of travel—Literary Societies in the Highlands—Gaelic books—Happiness and geniality of natives—Oban to Gairloch—Winter sailing—A crofting village—Horrors of the Minch—Notes on Lewis—Highland doctors—Hotels and anglers—Recent books—Military—Moray Firth—Among the miners—Handloom weaving—Professor Blackie and the... more...

I There is a tale of Mr Kipling which relates how Eustace Cleever, a celebrated novelist, came to the rooms of a young subaltern and his companions who were giving an account of themselves. Eustace Cleever was a literary man, and was greatly impressed when he learned that one of the company, who was under twenty-five and was called the Infant, had killed people somewhere in Burma. He was suddenly... more...

INTRODUCTION. 1. Tongue, Speech, Language.—We speak of the “English tongue” or of the “French language”; and we say of two nations that they “do not understand each other’s speech.” The existence of these three words—speech, tongue, language—proves to us that a language is something spoken,—that it is a number of sounds; and that the writing or printing of it upon paper is a quite... more...