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TO

AMERICAN LITERATURE;

OR, THE

ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

OF THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE,

WITH GEMS OF POETRY.

“Novelty, however, is not permitted to usurp the place of reason ; it may
attend, but it shall not conduct the inquiry."-GOLDSMITH.

By E. L. RICE.

CINCINNATI:
DERBY, BRADLEY & CO.

1846.

EN

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Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846,

BY E. L. RICE, in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court of Ohio.

E. SHEPARD, PRINTER, CIN.

PREFACE,

The object of the following work is to present, in a condensed form, the origin and development of the English language and literature. It embraces a concise view of the Saxon, and of the English language and literature, and illustrates the connection that exists between them. In accordance with the demand of the age, one of the principal objects in the preparation of the matter has been condensation, compactness; an effort has been made to compress the matter into the least possible space; and it is hoped that the volume will be found to contain nothing superfluous, while but little essential to a complete analytical view of the subject is omitted. The short paper upon Polite Learning will be found to contain the elements of more matter than many volumes of the terse and beautiful works of Goldsmith, De Stael, and Burke, from which much of it has been drawn; this is owing to the advantages possessed by compilers of our day. Nearly every work that treats of the subject of language, has been consulted, but nothing has been copied from any of them with the exception of the subject of “A Perfect Language,” the train of reasoning in which, was chiefly suggested by Condillac; and, a number of valuable notes which have been supplied from ‘Mr. Turner's History of the Anglo Saxons.

The language has really been traced back to its origin in the literature of early times; and in conducting the inquiry the appeal has been made to facts instead of authorities and theories : this course has conducted us safely through disputed ground. The literature of each century, from the fifth, when the Saxons established themselves in Britain, has been glanced at in regular succession: yet, only the prominent features of each

WOE 19 FEB 36

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