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not, at least till we reach the very latest of them, be understood by ordinary readers without explanatory and glossarial notes. Accordingly the quotations from their writings are thrown into the Second Part, where verbal interpretation is less out of place; and where, also, they serve the double use of illustrating the progress of the language, and of relieving the philological text by contrast or by their poetical pictures. In the Third Part, the Extracts are subjoined, as foot-notes, to the passages of the text in which the several authors are commemorated. No Extracts are presented from the Nineteenth Century. Its literary abundance and variety could not have been exemplified, either fairly or instructively, without the apparatus of specimens so bulky as to be quite inadmissible: and the books are not only more widely known, but more easily to be found, than those of preceding times.

The Second Part, offering a brief Summary of the Early History of the English Language, fills about one-seventh of the volume. It must have, through the nature of the matter, a less popular and amusing aspect than the other Parts. But the topic handled in these Philological Chapters is quite as important as those that


the Literary ones. The story which this part tells, should be familiar to every one who would understand, thoroughly, the History of English Literature; and therefore it deserved, if it did not rather positively require, admission as an appendix to a narrative in which that History is surveyed. A knowledge of it is yet more valuable to those who desire to gain, as every one among us must if he is justly to be called a well-educated man, an exact mastery of the Science of English Grammar. The description here given of the principal steps by which our native tongue was formed, illustrates, almost in every page, some characteristic fact in our literary history, or some distinc tive feature in our ordinary speech.



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