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A Treasury of English Literature

A Treasury of English Literature

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Excerpt from A Treasury of English Literature: From the Beginning to the Eighteenth Century; Selected and Arranged With Translations and Glossaries

But, beyond these aims, it is hoped that the present book may fill a place as an English anthology representing more fully than has yet been attempted in a brief selection, the course of our literature (with the exception of. The Drama) from the earliest time to the eighteenth century; and a special feature has been made of Old and Middle English writings before the time of Chaucer. The Treasury forms a complete work in it self and can be used apart from its connexion with the Primer of English Literature.

No extracts from the Drama proper have been included, except in one case as an example of Marlowe's 'mighty line.' It seems almost impossible, from the very nature' of that form of art, to represent it at all justly in brief passages. Moreover, the work of selection from our dramatic 'literature is being done by others at the present time, to say nothing of the classic volume of Elizabethan specimens given to us by Charles Lamb.

The selections in this Treasury end with the poetry of Burns, though originally it was intended to bring them up to I832, where the Primer itself ends. It was found, however, that this would make the book too large for its purpose, without adding much to its usefulness, since there are already many good selections from the later authors. The writers included and the order and proportionate importance assigned to them follow, as a rule, the arrangement of the Primer, though now and then an author has been represented who is not named there, or, if named, is only glanced at without distinctive criticism.

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