A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Charlie Kirschner, and the Project
Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Note: Project also has an HTML version of this
file which includes the original illustrations.
See 12369-h.htm or 12369-h.zip:
(http://www..net/1/2/3/6/12369/12369-h/12369-h.htm)
or
(http://www..net/1/2/3/6/12369/12369-h.zip)





LIBRARY OF THE WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE, ANCIENT AND MODERN, VOL. I

CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER

EDITOR

HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE
LUCIA GILBERT RUNKLE
GEORGE HENRY WARNER

ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Connoisseur Edition






PREFACE


The plan of this Work is simple, and yet it is novel. In its distinctive
features it differs from any compilation that has yet been made. Its
main purpose is to present to American households a mass of good
reading. But it goes much beyond this. For in selecting this reading it
draws upon all literatures of all time and of every race, and thus
becomes a conspectus of the thought and intellectual evolution of man
from the beginning. Another and scarcely less important purpose is the
interpretation of this literature in essays by scholars and authors
competent to speak with authority.

The title, "A Library of the World's Best Literature," is strictly
descriptive. It means that what is offered to the reader is taken from
the best authors, and is fairly representative of the best literature
and of all literatures. It may be important historically, or because at
one time it expressed the thought and feeling of a nation, or because it
has the character of universality, or because the readers of to-day will
find it instructive, entertaining, or amusing. The Work aims to suit a
great variety of tastes, and thus to commend itself as a household
companion for any mood and any hour. There is no intention of presenting
merely a mass of historical material, however important it is in its
place, which is commonly of the sort that people recommend others to
read and do not read themselves. It is not a library of reference only,
but a library to be read. The selections do not represent the
partialities and prejudices and cultivation of any one person, or of a
group of editors even; but, under the necessary editorial supervision,
the sober judgment of almost as many minds as have assisted in the
preparation of these volumes. By this method, breadth of appreciation
has been sought.

The arrangement is not chronological, but alphabetical, under the names
of the authors, and, in some cases, of literatures and special
subjects. Thus, in each volume a certain variety is secured, the
heaviness or sameness of a mass of antique, classical, or mediaeval
material is avoided, and the reader obtains a sense of the varieties and
contrasts of different periods. But the work is not an encyclopaedia, or
merely a dictionary of authors. Comprehensive information as to all
writers of importance may be included in a supplementary reference
volume; but the attempt to quote from all would destroy the Work for
reading purposes, and reduce it to a herbarium of specimens.

In order to present a view of the entire literary field, and to make
these volumes especially useful to persons who have not access to large
libraries, as well as to treat certain literatures or subjects when the
names of writers are unknown or would have no significance to the
reader, it has been found necessary to make groups of certain
nationalities, periods, and special topics. For instance, if the reader
would like to know something of ancient and remote literatures which
cannot well be treated under the alphabetical list of authors, he will
find special essays by competent scholars on the Accadian-Babylonian
literature, on the Egyptian, the Hindu, the Chinese, the Japanese, the
Icelandic, the Celtic, and others, followed by selections many of which
have been specially translated for this Work. In these literatures names
of ascertained authors are given in the Index. The intention of the
essays is to acquaint the reader with the spirit, purpose, and tendency
of these writings, in order that he may have a comparative view of the
continuity of thought and the value of tradition in the world. Some
subjects, like the Arthurian Legends, the Nibelungen Lied, the Holy
Grail, Provenηal Poetry, the Chansons and Romances, and the Gesta
Romanorum, receive a similar treatment. Single poems upon which the
authors' title to fame mainly rests, familiar and dear hymns, and
occasional and modern verse of value, are also grouped together under an
appropriate heading, with reference in the Index whenever the poet
is known.

It will thus be evident to the reader that the Library is fairly
comprehensive and representative, and that it has an educational value,
while offering constant and varied entertainment. This comprehensive
feature, which gives the Work distinction, is, however, supplemented by
another of scarcely less importance; namely, the critical interpretive
and biographical comments upon the authors and their writings and their
place in literature, not by one mind, or by a small editorial staff, but
by a great number of writers and scholars, specialists and literary
critics, who are able to speak from knowledge and with authority. Thus
the Library becomes in a way representative of the scholarship and wide
judgment of our own time. But the essays have another value. They give
information for the guidance of the reader. If he becomes interested in
any selections here given, and would like a fuller knowledge of the
author's works, he can turn to the essay and find brief observations and
characterizations which will assist him in making his choice of books
from a library.

The selections are made for household and general reading; in the belief
that the best literature contains enough that is pure and elevating and
at the same time readable, to satisfy any taste that should be
encouraged. Of course selection implies choice and exclusion. It is
hoped that what is given will be generally approved; yet it may well
happen that some readers will miss the names of authors whom they desire
to read. But this Work, like every other, has its necessary limits; and
in a general compilation the classic writings, and those productions
that the world has set its seal on as among the best, must predominate
over contemporary literature that is still on its trial. It should be
said, however, that many writers of present note and popularity are
omitted simply for lack of space. The editors are compelled to keep
constantly in view the wider field. The general purpose is to give only
literature; and where authors are cited who are generally known as
philosophers, theologians, publicists, or scientists, it is because they
have distinct literary quality, or because their influence upon
literature itself has been so profound that the progress of the race
could not be accounted for without them.

These volumes contain not only or mainly the literature of the past, but
they aim to give, within the limits imposed by such a view, an idea of
contemporary achievement and tendencies in all civilized countries. In
this view of the modern world the literary product of America and Great
Britain occupies the largest space.

It should be said that the plan of this Work could not have been
carried out without the assistance of specialists in many departments of
learning, and of writers of skill and insight, both in this country and
in Europe. This assistance has been most cordially given, with a full
recognition of the value of the enterprise and of the aid that the
Library may give in encouraging and broadening literary tastes. Perhaps
no better service could be rendered the American public at this period
than the offer of an opportunity for a comprehensive study of the older
and the greater literatures of other nations. By this comparison it can
gain a just view of its own literature, and of its possible mission in
the world of letters.

Chas. Dudley Warner




THE ADVISORY COUNCIL

* * * * *

CRAWFORD H. TOY, A.M., LL.D.,
Professor of Hebrew,
HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Cambridge, Mass.

THOMAS R. LOUNSBURY, LL.D., L.H.D.,
Professor of English in the Sheffield Scientific School of
YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, Conn.

WILLIAM M. SLOANE, PH.D., L.H.D.,
Professor of History and Political Science,
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Princeton, N.J.

BRANDER MATTHEWS, A.M., LL.B.,
Professor of Literature,
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York City.

JAMES B. ANGELL, LL.D.,
President of the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, Ann Arbor, Mich.

WILLARD FISKE, A.M., PH.D.,
Late Professor of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages
and Literatures, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, Ithaca, N.Y.

EDWARD S. HOLDEN, A.M., LL.D.,
Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer,
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Berkeley, Cal.

ALCΙE FORTIER, LIT.D.,
Professor of the Romance Languages,
TULANE UNIVERSITY, New Orleans, La.

WILLIAM P. TRENT, M.A.,
Dean of the Department of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of
English and History, UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH, Sewanee, Tenn.

PAUL SHOREY, PH.D.,
Professor of Greek and Latin Literature,
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, Chicago, Ill.

WILLIAM T. HARRIS, LL.D.,
United States Commissioner of Education,
BUREAU OF EDUCATION, Washington, D.C.

MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN, A.M., LL.D.,
Professor of Literature in the
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, Washington, D.C.




NOTE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Owing to the many changes in the assignment of topics and engaging of
writers incident to so extended a publication as the Library of the
World's Best Literature, the Editor finds it impossible, before the
completion of the work, adequately to recognize the very great aid which
he has received from a large number of persons. A full list of
contributors will be given in one of the concluding volumes. He will
expressly acknowledge also his debt to those who have assisted him
editorially, or in other special ways, in the preparation of
these volumes.

Both Editor and Publishers have endeavored to give full credit to every
author quoted, and to accompany every citation with ample notice of
copyright ownership.



Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.