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NEW-YORK:
PUBLISHED BY J. K. PORTER,

No. 144 FULTON-STREET,
AND SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT

THE UNITED STATES.

Stereotyped by James Conner.

1832.

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Entered according to the Act of Congress, January, 1832, by J. K. Porter, in the office of the Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.

T. Harries, Printer, 72 Bowery, N. Y.

TO THE MEMBERS

CF THE

MERCANTILE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION,

WHO,

AMIDST THE CARES AND BUSINESS

OF ACTIVE LIFE,

OR IN THE DOMESTIC CIRCLE,

ARE ENGAGED IN THE PURSUIT OF THAT KNOWLEDGE

WHICH GIVES EXPANSION TO THOUGHT;

STRENGTH TO THE MIND,

FIRMNESS TO PURPOSE ;

REFINEMENT TO MORALS ;

AND WEIGHT TO CHARACTER ;

THIS VOLUME,

CONTAINING A FEW HINTS, BY WAY OF ADVICE,

UPON AUTHORS AND ERAS OF LITERATURE

AND OTHER RELATIVE MATTERS,

IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED,
BY THEIR SINCERE FRIEND,

THE AUTHOR.

3 x 61

CONTENTS.

page.

3

Dedication,
Preface,

CHAPTER I.

Introductory-Elementary Education The Bible-- Juvenile Books-Read

ing for Amusement-Method in Reading-Remarks to the Ladies---Gene-
ral Literature-State of Man before the Cultivation of Letters- When
Letters were invented-Lettered men of the Early Ages-Influence of
Letters upon Man--Effect of Letters decried by Certain Reasoners-Their
Assertions Denied-Letters more Glorious and Permanent than Art-The
English Language-The Saxon Language-The Saxons and Normans-
Layman's works-Robert De Brunne's History of England-Reign of
the Romans-- Romances-Age of Chivalry-Fictions of the present day-
Johnson's Rasselas-Godwin's St. Leon-Caleb Williams-Sir Walter
Scott--Novels founded on Fact-The faiher of English Poetry--Objects of
the Poetry of his Predecessors-These Objects Rerormed by Chaucer-Ge-
nius of Chaucer-Byron's opinion of him--Chaucer's Contemporaries-
Chaucer's Satire--Dryden and Pope's opinion of him, &c.—John Gower-
Originality and Genius-Gower's Monument-John the Chaplain-Tho
mas Occleve--Henry V.--Society-Lydgate-Criticism Evidence of Mental
Light-The Laurel Crown of Italy and England, John Kay, Poet Laureate
to Edward IV.-Poetical Distinctions--Barclay-Skelton--Lord Surry--
The Father of English Blank Verse-Blank Verse-Sir John Mandeville,
the Traveller-Effect of the Accounts of his Travels-Ralph Higden--Tro-
visa-His translation of the Bible-Wickliffe, the Reformer-Malice of the
Popes against his Memory-Founder of the Protestant Religion--Bishop
Peacock-Sir John Fortescue-Use of Printing-William Caxton-The
first book printed in England--Chronicles of England-Similarity of
Thought and Expression in Different Languages--Effect of Expelling the
Greek Scholars from Constantinople-Sir Thomas More-Wilson, the
Rhetorician-Figurative Language-William Fullward-The reigns of
Edward and Mary-Reign of Elizabeth-The Scriptures,Lady Jana
Grey-Source of American Literature-Parallel between the Literature
of that age and the present-General Diffusion of Literature.

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