Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Bombay:

1890
(With the permission of Messrs. Macmillan & Co.)

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Golden Treasu r y

Book fourth

PREFACE

The suggestion that the Fourth Book of Mr. Palgrave's 'Golden Treasury' should be appointed to be read in the colleges affiliated to the University of Bombay was due to the conviction that enough is not done to induce our students to avail themselves of the wealth that is theirs in virtue of their knowledge of the English language. Most English scholars have reason to regret that at school and college it was thought sufficient if they had read Homer and Virgil, with a very few others, and had learned a little about some two or three more less illustrious names. It seems to me that, of late years at least, we have been committing a similar mistake here with less excuse. The class of men who can hope to acquire and retain a real interest in the wide extent of classical literature must always be small in number. But the literature of England, in all its length and breadth, is part of the life of English

To the poets of this century in particular we ourselves owe more than can be told. Milton and Shakespeare are for all time. Wordsworth and Shelley, Tennyson and Browning, are the prophets of our own day, where, if anywhere, we must find light, refreshment, and inspiration. And yet, as far as our students are concerned, we are apt to be content if they have read one of Shakespeare's plays and two books of Paradise Lost. Sometimes the Prelude, or a book like Tennyson's Princess, is substituted or one or other of these. But the practice which formerly prevailed of invariably setting at least one modern book has fallen into desuetude. English literature as a subject, in whole or in part, forms—most unfortunately as it appears to the present writer-no part of our course. The result is that many of our students leave college knowing nothing of works which are in a peculiar sense the cherished possession of the genera

men.

« AnteriorContinuar »