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American history, and still more if you will learn intimately to know those more eminent American men of letters who remain the living teachers of our growing country, you must grow to feel that American democracy has a wiser temper, still its own.
The national ideal of America has never yet denied or even repressed the countless variety of human worth and power. It has urged only that men should enjoy liberty within the range of law. It has resisted both lingering and innovating tyranny; but all the while it has kept faithful to the principle that, so far as public safety may permit, each of us has an inalienable right to strive for excellence. In the presence of approved excellence it has remained humble.
The history of such future as we can now discern must be that of a growing world-democracy. The most threatening future danger, then, is often held to lurk in those dogged systems of authority which still strive to strangle humane aspiration. No doubt these are dangerous, yet sometimes there
even deeper danger in that crescent phase of democracy itself which hates and condemns excellence. If in the conflicts to come, democracy shall overpower excellence, or if excellence, seeking refuge in freshly imperious assertion of authority, shall prove democracy another futile dream, the ways before us are dark. The more one dreads such darkness, the more gleams of counsel and help one may find in the simple, hopeful literature of inexperienced, renascent New England. There, for a while, the warring ideals of democracy and of excellence were once reconciled, dwelling confidently together in some earthly semblance of peace.
AUTHORITIES AND REFERENCES
The following memoranda indicate, first, the chief general authorities on the whole matter in hand ; secondly, the principal accessible authorities on the special topics discussed in the successive books and chapters ; and thirdly, the most authoritative and available editions of the principal works mentioned in the text. For convenience, they are arranged under the following heads : I. General Authorities ; II. Special Authorities for each book and for each chapter.
Without pretending to be exhaustive, these memoranda should serve as guides to those who desire further to investigate the matter touched on. In general, they call attention to accessible bibliographies.
1. For English History, so far as it concerns us, any standard authority should serve ; for example, the Encyclopædia Britannica.
2. For English Literature, in general, the best books seem STOPFORD BROOKE: Primer of English Literature, 1889. Henry Craik: English Prose, etc., 5 vols., 1893-96. FREDERICK RYLAND : Chronological Outlines of English Literature,
1896. Thomas H. Ward : English Poets, 4 vols., 1896-1900.
3. For American History, the following works should serve as general guides : EDWARD CHANNING: A Students' History of the United States, New
York, 1899. EDWARD CHANNING and ALBERT BUSHNELL Hart: Guide to the
Study of American History, Boston, 1896. Justin WINSOR [editor] : Narrative and Critical History of America,
8 vols., Boston, 1886-89.
4. For literature in America, among numerous works, the following seem perhaps the most useful:
Histories of Literature :
Time, 2 vols., New York, 1897. [Vol. I., 1607-76; Vol. II.,
1676-1765.] M. C. Tyler : The Literary History of the American Revolution, z
vols., New York, 1897. Barrett WENDELL : Stelligeri, etc., New York, 1893. GREENOUGH WHITE : Sketch of the Philosopby of American Literature,
b. Collections of Extracts : G. R. CARPENTER : American Prose, New York, 1898. E. A. and G. L. DUYCKINCK : Cyclopædia of American Literature,
2 vols., Philadelphia, 1875.
Literature, 11 vols., New York, 1888-90.
6. Bibliography and Chronology: -
New York, 1894.
II. SPECIAL AUTHORITIES
INTRODUCTION more complete statement of the theory of literary evolution, see B. WENDELL : William Shakspere, New York, 1894,
pp. 401 ff.