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THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

SERIES

I.

6588 Lit 499.10

Lucy Osgood fund.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred, by The Bradley-Garretson Co., Limited, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Entered, according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred, by the Bradley Garretson Co., Limited, in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture.

All Rights Reserved.

PREFACE.

The title of this book indicates its limits and its scope. It is a purely popular presentation of the best that has been written during the past century. In preparing it, I have aimed especially at clearness, and such adequacy as might consist with a short review of a very great subject.

The width of the field no one will deny. In fact, it seems almost presumptuous to attempt, within a single volume, a fair survey of the literatures of the world during a period of their development. Partly the work has been lightened by excluding what might justly find place in a more extended view. But various difficulties remain, arising chiefly out of the extent of the task. They may be compressed into the one word concentration. The immense amount of material has rendered selection and arrangement of grave concern. And quite as arduous is it to do justice to the work chosen for discussion. The course taken has been a somewhat superficial treatment of men and books, without much criticism. Then there was the parlous question as to where the survey should begin. Obviously, the first thought was 1801; but this date does not at all cover

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