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HALF-HOURS WITH THE BEST AUTHORS' appeared, in the course of periodical publication, without a Preface. The Editor feels it necessary, in completing the Series, to record the purpose with which he undertook it, and to add a few remarks on the mode in which he has endeavoured to work out his intentions.

In the announcement of HALF-HOURS' the Editor said, “ . Elegant Extracts ' have opened to many an eminent man the gates of our literature. Judiciously chosen, they may effect more good than they have effected. We turn to the six bulky volumes so entitled, which were the delight of our boyhood, and we find a collection, not of the imperishable treasures of our great writers, but for the most part of the tenth-rate authors of the 18th century. Not a fragment of a poem of the 16th and 17th centuries, with the exception of a few scraps from Shakspere, Milton, and Dryden, is to be found in the thousand pages of Extracts in Poetry from the most approved Authors.' It is the same with the prose writers. Two unpretending volumes, 'Select Beauties of Ancient English Poetry,' by Henry Headley, A.B., were published about the same time as the 'Elegant Extracts in Poetry,' with this motto, most appropriate to the age — The monument of banished minds. The

approved authors' were Parnell, and Mason, and Apne Yearsley, and Mallett, and Merrick, and Pitt: the banished minds' were Spenser, and W. Brown, and Carew, and Daniel, and Drummond, and Drayton, and Fletcher, and Quarles, and Wither. The great writers of our own day have sent us back to the great writers of our golden age. For this reason alone a new collection is required, which should represent our present literary tastes, both in what is Ancient and what is Modern. But there is another reason which has induced the Editor to prepare • HALF-HOURS WITH THE BEST AUTHORS. Every collection of Extracts that he has seen contains a vast mass of scraps, which give but a very imperfect notion of the intellectual feast which is to be found in the • best authors. His plan is therefore to confine his selection, whether in POETRY or PROSE, to pieces of sufficient length to occupy half an hour's ordinary reading, -or to pieces which can be so connected by the Editor as to supply the same amount of instruction and amusement. Each extract will occupy about six pages of a volume of between five and six hundred pages; so that the four volumes will contain half an hour's reading for every day in the year. Every seventh day, or

chapter, will be selected from some religious writer of universal acceptation and authority.”

The work, thus completed within the assigned limits, contains nearly 2300 pages. Thus, the 365 chapters average more than six pages each. The larger extracts, forming distinct ‘Half-Hours,' are selected from about 260 different writers. In the smaller pieces, which are grouped under some general head, will be found selections from about 40 writers who have not contributed to the larger: extracts. The work, therefore, contains specimens of three hundved various writers.

Of these three hundred writers, about forty are living. With two or three exceptions, the Editor has not taken more than one extract from those who still wear their laurel wreath without the cypress. But, while he acknowledges with gratitude the interest which this portion of the selection has imparted to these volumes, he feels that an apology is due to all those from whom he has borrowed without a distinct permission. During a somewhat long course of exertion to diffuse knowledge as widely as possible, he has always felt that the system, which has been too prevalent, of seizing, without stint, upon literary property, to give value to some ephemeral miscellany, was a fraud and an insult. Beyond the fair limits of extract for honest criticism, or illustration, the productions of mind ought to be as sacredly fenced round by the laws and customs of society as any material possession. The Editor ventures to hope that he has not passed these fair limits.

The Editor has a word or two to add upon the “ short biographical and critical notices" which precede the larger extracts. Their brevity must necessarily render them incomplete and unsatisfactory; but they have not been written without serious thought and an earnest desire to be just. There are many who will differ from the Editor in his estimate of some writers, particularly of the more recent. But of one fault he is not likely to be accused that of a cold and depreciating estimate of those whom he has selected as · The Best Authors.' If his admiration should appear too hearty, he may best excuse himself by saying that the "nil admirarinever appeared to him the great principle of mental satisfaction; and that, even with Horace against him, he is content to bear with the imputation, in such matters, of being

“One who loved not wisely, but too well.”

November 25, 1848.


*.* In this Index each Extract will be found under the name of the respective
author, where known. The title of the subject, or the name of the author, in SMALL
CAPITALS, indicates that the Extract forms a distinct 'Half-Hour,' or occasionally more
than one. When the leading word is in common type, the notice is a short extract
under some general head.

ADDISON, Joseph, Notice of, i. 74; Sir

Roger de Coverley, I., i. 75; II., i.
250; III., i. 471; IV., i. 556 ; The
Mountain of Miseries. A Dream, ii.

Anacreon, i. 389.

The Nut-Brown Maid, i. 350.
The Insect of a Day, i. 444.
Character of Napoleon. i. 158.
The Slide of Alpnach, ii. 47.
It will never do to be Idle, ii. 191.
Deposition of King Richard II., ii.

The Merry Devil of Edmonton, ii. 267.
My Maiden Brief, ii. 443.
Chevy Chase, iïi. 267.
Shipwreck of the Medusa French Fri-

gate, iii. 313.
The Heir of Linne, iii. 404.
On the Athenian Orators, jii. 421.
Some Account of the great Law-Snit

between the Parishes of St. Dennis

and St. George-in-the-Water, iv. 28.
The Old and Young Courtier, iv. 417.
Anonymous [short extracts), i. 40; i.

216; i. 431; i. 485; i. 573 ; ii. 237 ;
Britons, strike home ! iii. 345; Gentle
Herdsman, iv. 262; Sir Patrick Spence,

iv. 264 ; iv. 364.
ANOTHER YEAR, iv. 553.
Anson, Lord, Notice of, iv. 124 ; Mor-

tality at Sea, iv. 124.
APOPHTHEGMS, Remarks on, i. 61; I., i.

62; II., i. 215; III., i. 449 ; Ív., ii.

211; V., ii. 448.
ARBUTIINOT, John, Notice of, ii. 323;

Martinus Scriblerus, ii. 324.

Arne, Britain's best Bulwarks are her

Wooden Walls, üi. 344.
ARNOLD, Dr., Notice of, i. 167; Classical

Education, i. 169.
ARNOTT, Dr., Notice of, i. 125; The Baro-

meter, i. 125.
ASCHAM, Roger, Notice of, ii. 95; Pre-

face to the Schoolmaster, ii. 95.
Aubrey, Jobn; Henry Martin, i. 65; Civil

War, i. 66; The Inventor of the Stocking
Frame, i. 67; Days before Books, i.
215; Keep to your Calling, i. 217;
Tobacco, i. 220; Dr. William Harvey,
i. 223; Dr. Kettle, i. 450; Sir Thomas
More, i. 452; Sir Miles Fleetwood,

Recorder of London, i. 454.
AUDUBON, John James, Notice of, iii. 547;

The Hurricane, iii. 548.
AUSTEN, Jane, Notice of, iv. 559; The

Voluble Lady, iv. 559.
AUTUMN, iii. 42.
Ayton, Richard, iii. 436.

Bacon, Francis Lord, Notice of, i. 96;

The History of Perkin Warbeck, i. 97;
Of Great Place, i. 539; Errors of

Learning, iii. 119; Knowledge, iv. 571.
Bacon, Illustrious Prisoners, i. 64; Saint

Bartholomew, i. 68; Merciful Law, i.
69; Parliamentary Dispatch, i. 69;
The Safest Lenders, i. 219; Danger, i.
220; Ambition, i. 221 ; Idle Fears, i.

445 ; Augustus Cæsar, i. 455.
Baillie, Joanna, ii. 169; Notice of, iv.

367 ; De Monfort, iv. 367.
Bale, John, Destruction of the Monastic

Libraries, ii. 453.

BALLADS, iv. 262.
BANCROFT, George, Notice of, iii. 31; John

Locke and William Penn, iii. 31.
Barbauld, Mrs. ii. 380.
Barnard, Lady Anne, Auld Robin Gray,

iv. 266.
BARROW, Isaac, Notice of, i. 224; The

Industry of a Gentleman, i. 225.
BASSOMPIERRE, François, Notice of, ii.

173; Origin of Duelling, ii. 173.
BATES, William, Notice of, ü. 317 ; Ex-

amples of Spiritual Perfection, ï. 317.
BAXTER, Richard, Notice of, ii. 89 ; Dying

Thoughts, ii. 89.
BEATTIE, James, Notice of, iv. 295; Scot-

tish Music, iv. 295.
· 223; The Page's Scenes in · Philaster,'

iii. 224.
BECKFORD, William, Notice of, iv. 117;

The Hall of Eblis, iv. 118.
BEDE, Notice of, ii. 285; Conversion of

King Ethelbert, ii. 286.
BENTHAM, Jeremy, Notice of, iv. 137;

Of Security, iv. 137.
BERKELEY, Bishop, Notice of, iv. 351;

A Word to the Wise, iv. 351.
BERNIER, François, Notice of, i. 521 ;

Aurengzebe, i. 321.
BEVERIDGE, Bishop, Notice of, i. 513 ;

The Imitation of Christ, i. 513; Reso-

lutions, iï. 22.
BIRDS, i. 388.
Bloomfield, Robert, iii. 148.
Boccaccio, Notice of, ii. 34; Griselda, ii.

35; The Plague of Florence, iv. 468.
BOLINGBROKE, Lord, Notice of, iii. 516 ;

Reflections upon Exile, iii. 517.
BOSWELL, James, Notice of, iv. 518; Dr.

Johnson's Dinner Talk, iv. 518.
Boswell, James, Desire of Knowledge, i. 63;

The First Hug of the Bear, i. 453 ;
Johnson, i. 453; Levelling, ii. 212;

Voltaire and Johnson, ii. 215.
BRATHWAYTE, Richard, Notice of, iv. 511;

The New Dress, iv. 511.
BRETT, Dr. Thomas, Story of Richard

Plantagenet, i. 409.
BROOKE, Henry, Notice of, iii. 34; The

Lion and the Spaniel, iii. 34.
BROUGHAM, Lord, Sir William Grant, ii.
· 520.
Browne, William, i. 437; i. 482.

BROWNE, Sir Thomas, Notice of, iii. 48 ;

Um-Burial, iii. 48.
Bryant, W. C., i. 42; ii. 21; ii. 167.
BUFFON, Notice of, i. 151; The First

Man, i. 151.
BURKE, Edmund, Notice of, ii. 302; The

Royal Household in 1780, ii. 303.
BURLEIGH, Lord, Notice of, iv. 316; Ad.

vice to his Son, iv. 316.
BURNET, Gilbert, Notice of, iv. 550;

Character of Charles II., iv. 550.
BURNET, Thomas, Notice of, ii. 463; The

Coming of our Saviour, ii. 463.
BURNS, Robert, Notice of, ii. 256; The

Cotter's Saturday Night, ii. 257.
Burns, i. 39; i. 235; ii. 172; iii. 46;

iv. 1 ; iv. 6.
BURTON, Robert, Notice of, iii. 495 ; Re-

medies of Discontent, iii. 496.
BUTLER, Bishop, Notice of, i. 44; Ser-
mon upon the Government of the
Tongue, i. 44; Sermon upon the Love
of our Neighbour, ii. 413; Of a State
of Probation, as implying Trial, Dif-

ficulties, and Danger, iii. 335.
BUTLER, Samuel, Notice of, iii. 170; The

Astrologer, iii. 171; A Modern Politi-

cian, iï. 272.
BYRON, Lord, Notice of, iv. 304 ; Art and

Nature, iv. 304; Newstead Abbey, iv.

487; Fazio, iv. 450.
Byron, i. 574 ; ii. 311.

CAMPBELL, Dr. George, Notice of, i. 365;

The Koran, i. 365.
CAMPBELL, Thomas, Notice of, iv. 111;

Thomas Chatterton, iv. 111.
Campbell, Thomas, i, 243; Ye Mariners

of England, iii. 346; Battle of the

Baltic, iii. 513; iv. 1.
CANNING, George, Notice of, i. 70 ; Speech

at Plymouth in 1823, i. 70.
CARLETON, William, Notice of, iv. 275;

An Irish Village, iv. 275.
CARLYLE, Thomas, Notice of, i. 475;

Work, i. 476; Naseby Field, ii. 449.
CAVE, William, Notice of, ii. 160 ; Primi-

tive Christians, ii. 160; Saint Paul,

ii. 513; Of the Lord's Day, iv. 23.
CAVENDISH, George, Notice of, i. 564;

Death of Cardinal Wolsey, i. 564; The

Rise of Wolsey, ii. 376.
CECIL, Rev. Richard, Notice of, iv. 356 ;
The Influence of the Parental Cha-
racter, iv. 356.
CERVANTES, Notice of, iy. 144 ; Sancho

Panza in his Island, iv. 144.
CHALMERS, Thomas, Notice of, i. 322;
. On the inherent Pleasure of the Virtu-

ous, and Misery of the Vicious Affec-
tions, i. 322; The Law of Prices, iii.

CHANNING, William Ellery, Notice of,

i. 162; The Present Age, i. 163.
Chapman, George, ii. 495.
CHARLES II., his Escape after the Battle

of Worcester, iii. 501.
Chatterton, Thomas, jii. 42.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, i. 235.
CHENEVIX, Richard, The Industry of the

British Nation, iii. 329.
CHRISTMAS, iv. 359.
CLARENDON, Earl of, Notice of, 499; The

Fall of the Marquis of Montrose, i.
499; Death of Lord Falkland, ii. 43;

On Peace, iii. 39.
CLOUDS AND Winds, iii. 190.
COBBETT, William, Notice of, iii. 384 ; |

Rural Rides, iii. 384.
COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor, Notice of, i.

57 ; Dejection, an Ode, i. 58 ; Sir Alex-
ander Ball, i. 174; The Rime of the
Ancient Mariner, iii. 86; Christmas in
the North of Germany, iv. 412; Re-
morse, iv. 373.
Coleridge (short extracts), Canning and the

Ambassador, i. 65; John Kemble, i. 67;
Och Clo,i. 69 ; Conscience, i. 217 ; Trea-
son, i. 220; i. 390; i. 394 ; School
Discipline, i. 455; Keats, ii. 211;
ii. 497 ; ii. 499; iii. 47; iii. 193; iv.

Coleridge, Hartley, Parver the Quaker,

and his Translation of the Bible, ii.

214; ii. 448.
Coleridge, Henry, Description of Cole-

ridge, ii. 213.
Collins, Ode to Evening, i. 573.
Colton, Rev. C. C., Notice of, iv. 96 ;

Happiness, iv. 96.
Colton, Rev. C. C., Perfection, i. 66 ;

Opinions, i. 70; Observation, i. 223;
Retaliation, i. 223; The Selfishness

of Vice, i. 451.
COMBE, Andrew, Notice of, ii. 250 ; Men-

tal Stimulus necessary to Exercise, ii.

COMINES, Philip de, Notice of, ii. 341;

The Character of Louis XI., ii. 341.
COOPER, James Fenimore, Notice of, ii.

214; The Ariel among the Shoals, iii.

Corbet, Bishop, Fairies, iv. 557.
CORNWALL, Barry, Notice of, iv. 389;

Songs, iv. 389.
COURIER, Paul Louis, Notice of, i. 32; A

Tale of Terror, i. 33.
COWLEY, A., Notice of, iii. 154; The Vi-

sion of Oliver Cromwell, iii. 154; Of

Myself, iv.. 452.
Cowley, i. 571 ; ii. 235.
Cowper, W., Notice of, iii. 13; On the

Receipt of his Mother's Picture, iii. 13;
Tame Hares, iïi. 67; Winter Walk at

Noon, iv. 535.
Cowper, ii. 15; Fashion, ii. 448; Genius,

ii. 449.
Cullum, Sir John, Notice of, ii. 181; An
· Elizabethan Country House, ü. 182.
Cullum, Sir John, Wills, ii. 452; Pews, ii.

CunningHAM, Allan, Notice of, iv. 35 ;

Robin Hood, iv. 36 ; Songs, iv. 386.
CRABBE, George, Notice of, i. 110; The

Ancient Mansion, i. 111; The Be-

trothed, iv. 279.
Crabbe, Rev. George, jun., Crabbe and

Burke, ii. 113.
Croker, J. W., Goldsmith, i. 64.

DAMPIER, W., Notice of, ii. 73; The

Moskito Indian of Juan Fernandez, ii.
Daniel, Sonnets, iv. 545.
DANTE, Notice of, iii. 366; The Divina

Commedia, iii. 366; Third Canto of

the Inferno, iv. 86.
D'AUBIGNE, J. H. M., Movement of the

Reformation, iii. 533.
DAVIES, Sir John, Notice of, iv. 320;

False and True Knowledge, iv. 320.
Davy, Sir Humphrey, Notice of, i. 158;

Omens, i. 159; The Chemical Philoso-

pher, i. 532.
Davy, Rev. Charles, The Great Earth-

quake at Lisbon, ii. 128.
DE BURY, Richard, Notice of, i. 582;

Books, i. 583.

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