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Recat 8-13-57

EDITOR'S PREFACE.

The present volume is the first of a series of literary "Guide-books", which will, it is hoped, prove serviceable to the student and not distasteful to the lover of letters. Each volume will be devoted to the history of some single literary growth, bringing together representative illustrations of it in sufficient quantity to enable the reader to follow, at first hand, all its important phases. A critical introduction will sketch the story which the specimens. illustrate, supply some of the intervening detail, chronicle the faint beginnings, and record where needful the undistinguished decay. In this way it is hoped, among other things, to facilitate that comparative study of literature which is one of the secrets of critical wisdom and one of the springs of critical delight. The long procession of singing shepherds which meanders, joyous or wailful, through the pages of the present volume, sounds almost every note of English pastoral song. They are a picturesque throng enough; yet there is little of sharp and palpable contrast among them, but rather a mellowed harmony of kindred tones; for, in Pastoralism, literary tradition penetrates everywhere, like an atmosphere, softening the asperities of innovation and touching the contours, even of work fashioned by a Shakespeare or a Milton, with a halo of allusion and reminiscence. It is just in such a region of quiet and faded hues as this that most is gained by assembling the nuances in a single picture, by making the scattered kinsfolk neighbours. Perdita, with her marjoram and marigold, comes to meet

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There were hills which garnished their proud heights with stately trees; humble valleys, whose base estate seemed comforted with the refreshing of silver rivers; meadows enamelled with all sorts of eye-pleasing flowers; thickets, which being lined with most pleasant shade, were witnessed so too by the cheerful disposition of many well-tuned birds; each pasture stored with sheep, feeding with sober security, while the pretty lambs with bleating outcry craved the dam's comfort; here a shepherd's boy piping as though he should never be old; there a young shepherdess knitting, and withal singing; and it seemed that her voice comforted her hands to work, and her hands kept time to her voice-music.-SIDNEY: Description of Arcadia.

more fluctuating history; their literary aspects are more involved with others not literary; or their salient examples are remote, detached, apparently unrelated. But these very qualities open new sources of interest and value. It is a paradox, but true, that a Letter, for instance, can hardly have the highest value as literature if its interest is solely literary; to be spoken from heart to heart, to deal with real issues and definite facts, is the very stuff of its being; in seeking to be more than this, it is apt to become less. The editors of the present series will give full scope to these more obviously human and social aspects of literature; while still making it their immediate aim to trace the fortune in our literature of one or other of those forms of literary speech in which the instinct of beauty has found apt and memorable expression.

C. H. HERFORD.

more fluctuating history; their literary aspects are more involved with others not literary; or their salient examples are remote, detached, apparently unrelated. these very qualities open new sources of interest and value. It is a paradox, but true, that a Letter, for instance, can hardly have the highest value as literature if its interest is solely literary; to be spoken from heart to heart, to deal with real issues and definite facts, is the very stuff of its being; in seeking to be more than this, it is apt to become less. The editors of the present series will give full scope to these more obviously human and social aspects of literature; while still making it their immediate aim to trace the fortune in our literature of one or other of those forms of literary speech in which the instinct of beauty has found apt and memorable expression.

C. H. HERFORD.

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