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HAKI UNIVERS; Y

LIBRARY MAR 6 1961

COME L' UOM S'ETERNA.

-Dante.

PREFACE.

BORN September 15th, 1822, the teacher and friend whose unfinished volume I have attempted to complete died in his seventy-second year on May 14th, 1894, at Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight. Only two years before, Professor Morley had written the name of that place beneath a memorial sketch of a fellow-worker who, like himself, “ was slowly crowning his life's work with a History of English Literature," * when the hand of death bad caused it to be "lest a fragment." And as one reads again the words—“We sorrow for the loss of a strong man from the little field which to some is a happy playground, but to Professor ten Brink was place of labour where each furrow ploughed gave hope of a harvest for the future,” we feel that this utterance was but the echo of the spirit of devoted earnestness in which Henry Morley himself had wrought. Rejoicing in the treasure of England's literature, feeling that in it lay a potent influence for good, he had laboured both by spoken and written word to sow its seed in many a furrow, and to spread the knowledge of it to the uttermost, so that, according to the words of the poet whom he loved to interpret, wha

a

*“E. W.” viii. 415-6.

had been the “joy of one” might prove a “joy for tens of millions."

To him a book was no dead thing. It was, as it had been to John Milton, “the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life.” He selt, and was able to make others feel, the humanity which pulsates in a true book, so that literature became instinct with life and a source of spiritual inspiration; the written words of the past he valued because he felt in them a power which could touch the life of the present and influence the future ; and the last words of his last completed volume speak of “lives enwoven,” of the

daily fellowship of kindred thought,” and of that struggle in which

"All are working for the days to come.”

66

Large-hearted and broad-minded, he would not seek to trammel in others the love of literary study which he had inspired And as one great modern teacher has declared, “No true disciple of mine will ever be a Ruskinian; he will follow not me, but the instincts of his own soul and the guidance of its Creator," so in like spirit Professor Morley watched the growth of his literary children, rejoiced in their developing individuality, desired them reverently to follow their own bent as he had followed his, and cheered them along their chosen path, although he might not walk therein. Hence his students, though they may differ widely from him in their modes of work, will ever look lovingly toward the sacred hearth at which the Vestal fire was kindled, and will strive in their day, as he strove in his, to keep the flame clear and bright.

In yielding to the expressed wish of the family and the publishers that I should endeavour to complete this unfinished volume, it was my sole desire to carry out what might appear to be its plan. Unfortunately, Professor Morley left no notes. The book, however, was quite complete as far as page 161, and from there to the end of Chapter XII. (page 242) my work has simply been to correct the proofs, and make slight verbal changes, but otherwise alter practically nothing. Chapter XIII. had been arranged as far as the beginning of the analysis of “Philaster ;” and although it was found needful to recast this, yet all that had been written has been incorporated in the text as it now stands, while the heading of the chapter gave the key as to what other matter it was intended to contain. It was deemed well that distinct reference should be made to one phase of literary criticism which has absorbed the attention of some students of Beaumont and Fletcher, and this has been done in the footnote on page 265, and more elaborately in the Bibliography under “Fletcher." Possibly those disciples of the modern critical school who may consider that Professor Morley was not quite at one with them in his methods and views, may feel, as they reflect upon the results thus set forth, that the author of “English Writers ” had at least some reason for occasional scepticism.

The only means of knowing what Chapter XIV. was designed to contain was to trace the indications given in the previous volumes. These I have attempted faithfully to follow, and to adhere to the general design of the work; and I trust that I may rely upon the consideration of the reader in what has obviously been a somewhat delicate task. The Bibliography, it is hoped, may be regarded as supplying any possible incompleteness in the text. In dealing with the Sonnets of Shakespeare, I have thought it best to give my own reading of them as poems, rather than to enter into the discussion of what seem to me untenable views. The Bibliography will enable the student to follow out these views for himself.

A bibliography and "list of helpful books" had been promised, and as this had to deal with four volumes and sixty years of literary production, the task was somewhat formidable. The publishers have throughout shown the kindest consideration for the difficulties which have arisen in the effort to make this as serviceable as possible. The material has been arranged in a form which personal experience has shown to be useful ; and, unless otherwise stated, a complete classified list of works has been given. Accuracy and efficiency have been aimed at, but as so many errors have been found in the works of reference made use of, it is impossible but that mistakes and omissions have occurred. Up to the letter “N” my debt to the monumental Dictionary of National Biography has been great, although I have not failed to check that helpful work in almost every detail. Some of the notices are mainly based upon original editions ; others, such as Andrewes, Bacon, Hooker, etc., upon standard editions; most of them upon the "reprints" of Arber, Bullen, Collier, Furnivall, Gosse, Grosart, Halliwell, Sommer, etc., which also I have been at the pains to verify. My thanks are due to the officials of the British Museum Library-indicated in the Bibliography by the letters “B. M.”—for their unfailing courtesy, and for their readiness to help in the solution of

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