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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

THE DEAD ASS Sterne

Poetry.

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH H.W.  Longfellow

MEN OF ENGLAND Campbell

A BALLAD Goldsmith

MARTYRS Cowper

A PSALM OF LIFE H.W.  Longfellow

THE ANT AND THE CATERPILLAR Cunningham

REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE Couper

THE INCHCAPE BELL Southey

BATTLE OF THE BALME Campbell

LOCHINVAR Scott

THE CHAMELEON Merrick

A WISH Pope

A SEA SONG Cunningham

ON THE LOSS OF THE ‘ROYAL GEORGE’ Cowper

RULE BRITANNIA Thomson

WATERLOO Byron

IVRY Macaulay

ANCIENT GREECE Byron

THE TEMPLE OF FAME Pope

A HAPPY LIFE Sir Henry Wotton

MAN’S SERVANTS George Herbert

VIRTUE George Herbert

DEATH THE CONQUEROR James Shirley

THE PASSIONS Collins

THE VISION OF BELSHAZZAR Byron

YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND Campbell

A SHIPWRECK Byron

THE HAPPY WARRIOR Wordsworth

LIBERTY Cowper

THE TROSACHS Scott

LOCHIEL’S WARNING Campbell

REST FROM BATTLE Pope

THE SAXON AND THE GAEL Scott

THE SAXON AND THE GAEL (continued) Scott

THE WINTER EVENING Cowper

MAZEPPA Byron

HYMN TO DIANA Ben Jonson

L’ALLEGRO Milton

THE VILLAGE Goldsmith

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Shakespeare

IL PENSEROSO Milton

COURTESY Spenser

NOTES

BOOK V.

INTRODUCTION.

Throughout this book, and the next, you will find passages taken from the writings of the best English authors.  But the passages are not all equal, nor are they all such as we would call “the best,” and the more you read and are able to judge them for yourselves, the better you will be able to see what is the difference between the best and those that are not so good.

By the best authors are meant those who have written most skilfully in prose and verse.  Some of these have written in prose, because they wished to tell us something more fully and freely than they could do if they tied themselves to lines of an equal number of syllables, or ending with the same sound, as men do when they write poetry.  Others have written in verse, because they wished rather to make us think over and over again about the same thing, and, by doing so, to teach us, gradually, how much we could learn from one thing; if we think sufficiently long and carefully about it; and, besides this, they knew that rhythmical or musical language would keep longest in our memory anything which they wished to remain there; and by being stored up in our mind, would enrich us in all our lives after.

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