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nothing, – tend to give the student a certain dazzling affectation of literary culture at the expense of an amount of brain-work, that, properly utilized, would put him in possession of well-defined ideas of excellence of style, and enable him to form an intelligent and just estimate of an author's merit for himself, — a substantial attainment as valuable as it is rare. In the other great departments of learning, the student is not required at first to learn the history of them, or of their patrons and successful promoters : on the contrary, his intellectual forces are at once employed in learning the general results already obtained in them, and the best methods of modern analysis and investigation. In chemistry, we do not begin with alchemy and the alchemists; in astronomy, we do not begin with astrology and the absurd pretensions and aims of astrologers; neither do we stop at every short poem in mathematics, or grand epic in celestial mechanics, to learn the biography of the author, his relations to society and to science. In a similar manner, and mindful of the great influence of American thought and institutions upon the language, we believe it advisable to introduce the pupil to our most distinguished modern authors first, and, while putting him in possession of the power and spirit of the literature of to-day, lead him back to the classical period, exciting his curiosity by the way to pursue its earlier history at his leisure. A few authors carefully studied would undoubtedly produce the most valuable results; but, since tastes differ as to which ones should be so studied, it is thought a greater number, of unquestioned merit, ought to find a place in a text-book designed for drill in acquiring the best style of which the student is capable. The success of the plan, the selections and arrangement, is left to the judgment of my fellow-teachers, whose suggestions as to modifications in either will be gratefully acknowledged in any future edition. The want of a proper text-book to carry out the plan above indicated of teaching English literature is the only excuse for making this. Notes and criticisms are in the main omitted, since these selections are to be studied critically, the pupil using the dictionary and encyclopædias with an industry equal to that given to the study of Greek and Latin. Our thanks are due to Messrs. Fields, Osgood, & Co., for special permission to select from their copyright editions of the works of Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, Holmes, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Bryant's translation of Homer's Iliad; also to Messrs. Harper & Bros., D. Appleton & Co., George P. Putnam & Son, for extracts from Motley, Bryant, and Irving, whose works they publish.

THE COMPILER.

CONTENTS.

PAGE.

PAGE.

THEORY OF BEAUTY ............ 1 HENRY WARD BEECHER:

The Months....................... 104

THE PHILOSOPHY OF STYLE... 16

A Discourse of Flowers .......... 107

Norwood. - Stories for Children .. 114

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT:

The Anxious Leaf ................ 116

Thanatopsis. ...............

The Fairy Flower ....

The Conqueror's Grave ...........

...... 117

Coming and Going ................

The Past...............

The Evening Wind .............

A New-England Sunday ..........

The Battle-Field ................

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:

The Antiquity of Freedom. .....

Napoleon, or the Man of the World, 131

Homer..

HENRY W. LONGFELLOW:

WASHINGTON IRVING ........... 147

A Psalm of Life ..................

Rip Van Winkle .................. 143

The Reaper and the Flowers ......

The Widow's Retinue............. 161

Footsteps of Angels..............

Biography of Oliver Goldsmith ... 163

The Beleagured City.............

History of New York ............. 170

Maidenhood .....................

Excelsior ............ ......... NATIIANIEL HAWTHORNE:

The Building of the Ship.......... A Rill from the Town-Pump ...... 175

Hiawatha's Wooing......

A Select Party.................... 178

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER..

67 WRITERS ON RELIGION, &c...... 189

The Eternal Goodness ............

The Angels of Buena Vista .......

SCHOLARS, ESSAYISTS, AND

The Barefoot Boy.................

CRITICS ....................... 190

Snowbound..........

OLIVER WENDELL IIOLMES:

JAMES FENIMORE COOPER:

Extract from Poetry: A Metrical

The Capture of a Whale ......... 192

The Wreck of “ The Ariel "....... 196

Essay ........................... 77

The Last Leaf ...........

Extract from the Autocrat of the

AMERICAN NOVELISTS ........... 200

Breakfast-Table.................

WRITERS ON PHILOSOPHY AND

NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS:

SCIENCE

.......... 201

The Dying Alchemist ............. 86

HISTORIANS, LAWYERS, POLITI.

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL:

CIANS, AND BIOGRAPHERS, 202

Notices of an Independent Press.. 89

A Second Letter from B. Sawin,

CHARLES DICKENS:

Esq. ....................

.......... 93

Old Curiosity Shop ............... 203

EDGAR ALLAN POE:

Pickwick. – The Dilemma ........ 209

The Raven.......................

Speech of Serjeant Buzfuz........ 213

PAGE.

.. 216

PAGE.
WILLIAM M. TILACKERAY....... 215 THOMAS CAMPBELL:
Charity and Humor.....

Pleasures of Hope.. ............... 309
EMINENT ENGLISH NOVELISTS, 225 THOMAS BABINGTON MACAU.

LAY:

ALFRED TENNYSON:

The Prophecy of Capys............ 321

In Memoriam.....................: 22

Milton............................. 3:28

The Charge of the Light Brigade.. 235

Ode on the Death of the Duke of

HISTORIANS, BIOGRAPHERS,
Wellington...................... 23

AND TRAVELERS............ 343

NOVELISTS.........................

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner . 293
Hymn, before Sunrise, in the Vale

of Chamounix. .................. 301

WILLIAM COWPER:

The Timepiece ...............

....

512

y., 516

DISTINGUISHED WRITERS.......

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JOHN MILTON:

Paradise Lost....

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