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A BOOK OF
ENGLISH ESSAYS

(1600-1900)

SELECTED BY

S. V. MAKOWER AND B. H. BLACKWELL

WITH NOTES BY

A. F. SCHUSTER

HENRY FROWDE

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
LONDON, NEW YORK, TORONTO, MELBOURNE

AND BOMBAY

1913

OXFORD: HORACE HART PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY

PREFACE

In selecting the following Essays we have been guided by a desire to secure variety, not only in the outlook and equipment of our authors, but also in the subjects by which we have chosen to represent them. It was our object to set before the reader a rich and entertaining banquet rather than to make a bid for the critic's recognition of the supreme merits of each dish. In other words, we have wanted the essays chosen to differ from one another as widely and in as great a variety of ways as was compatible with the resolution to maintain a high level of excellence throughout the book.

In conformity with this plan we have chosen relatively few essays on literary subjects. To be made acquainted with a master's thoughts on some common topic of daily life is to enjoy a rarer and a more profitable glimpse of his genius than we can get by reading his opinions on the work of a brother author. Bacon and Goldsmith, differing from each other so profoundly and in so many ways as to offer the best because the most widely divergent standards for the comparison and contrast of all other essays, agree in this, that they avoid writing on literary subjects. To all save the student of poetry Addison is less entertaining when

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