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THE

LITERATURE

AND

THE LITERARY MEN

OF

Great Britain anù Irelatù.

BY

ABRAHAM MILLS, A.M.,

AUTHOR OF LECTURES ON RHETORIC AND BELLES LETTRES, ETC. ETC, ETC.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOLUME THE FIRST.

NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,

Nos. 329 AND 331 PEARL STREET,

FRANKLIN SQUARE.

1856,

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by

HARPER & BROTHERS,

In the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New York,

TO

HON. THEODORE FRELING HUYSEN,

LATE

Chaurellor of the buiuersity

OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,

NOW

PRESIDENT OF RUTGER'S COLLEGE,

NEW JERSEY,

THESE VOLUMES

ARE, AS A MARK OF GREAT RESPECT,

INSCRIBED,

BY THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE

MORE than twenty years ago the author of this work was in. vited to deliver, professionally, a Course of Lectures on English Literature. The lectures then prepared, with such additions and corrections as successive years of investigation and study naturally suggested, have since been annually repeated. In preparing them for the press the author has availed himself of every assistance that other publications on kindred subjects afford. In investigating the literature of the Saxons he has derived much assistance from Wright's Anglo-Saxon Period of British Literature, and Thorp's Edition of Codmon; and in the period that immediately follows the Saxon, Ellis's Metrical Romances, and Wright's Lyric Poetry and Political Songs of the Reign of Edward I. have been of equal service. To Godwin's Life of Chaucer he also acknowledges himself particularly indebted.

After the age of Chaucer the exposition of English Literature is so full, and the expositors are so numerous, that in the selection of authorities, both judgment and discretion were required. The works to which the author is here most indebted, are Ware ton's History of English Poetry, Percy's Reliques of English Poetry, Hazlitt's Lectures on the Age of Elizabeth, the Lectures of Dr. Drake, Bale's Account of the Lives of Eminent Writers of Great Britain, Burnett's Specimens of English Prose Writers, Hallam's Literature of the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, and Chambers' Cyclopædia of English Literature; from the last of which a number of the illustrations and minor criticisms were taken. He has also made liberal use of various articles in the Edinburgh and other Reviews, and has, as occasion required, freely consulted the Biographia Britannica,

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