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HOUGH intended primarily for High Schools, it is hoped that this little book may prove not useless in College classes that pursue a sketch or outline course in English Literature.
To the High School teacher the following explanations may be useful:
I. The short Biographies are intended as mere outlines which the pupil, if time allow, shall fill in from his reading of larger works. These works are indicated in the Bibliography, under the heading LIFE AND TIMES.
The Bibliography of CRITICISM, it is hoped, will assist the teacher in his search for the best that has been thought and said upon the poet whom his class is studying. Perhaps advanced pupils also can use some portion of this Bibliography with profit, but if they have spare time, I should encourage them to read more extensively in the works of the poet himself rather than in the works of those who have written about him.
3. The reference library, placed where the pupil can consult it daily, should contain :
i. Books for which there are no equivalents: Pope's Translation of the Iliad; Lang, Leaf and Myer's Translation of the Iliad; Palmer's Translation of the Odyssey; Dryden's and Conington's Translations of the Æneid; The Century Dictionary.
ii. The following books or their equivalents: Lippincott's Biographical Dictionary; Lippincott's Gazetteer; Smith's Smaller Classical Dictionary; Rich's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; Gayley's Classic Myths in English Literature; Ginn's Classical Atlas; Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase
and Fable; Green's Short History of the English People; McCarthy's History of Our Own Times; Skeat's Etymological Dictionary (Student's edition); Whitney's Essentials of English Grammar; Bain's Rhetoric (new edition in 2 vols.); Hales' Longer English Poems; The English Men of Letters Series.
4. The principles of Metrics will be found laid down in Abbott & Seelye's English Lessons for English People, and in Gummere's Poetics. It has been thought unnecessary, therefore, to give such information in the notes.
5. Exigencies of space have compelled me reluctantly to omit Scott's Lady of the Lake from the place it should have occupied in this book. This defect the student should remedy by reading that poem in the excellent edition of Professor W. J. Rolfe.
Grateful acknowledgments are due to the following gentlemen: To Professor C. M. Gayley of the University of California for constant advice and valuable criticism upon the treatment of all poets represented in this book; to Professor W. D. Whitney of Yale University for permission to draw freely for definitions upon the Century Dictionary; to Professor H. A. Beers of Yale University for helpful suggestion embodied in the notes on Milton, Dryden and Pope; to Professor A. F. Lange of the University of California for similar suggestions in the notes on Milton; to Professor J. C. Rolfe of the University of Michigan for permission to condense information on certain points from his scholarly and exhaustive edition of Macaulay's Lays; to Professor C. B. Bradley of the University of California for advice in the selection of the extracts from Burns and Browning; to Professor Isaac Flagg of the University of California for the happy Latin phrasing he has given to the thought of the editor's inscription.
March 15, 1894.