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AINSWORTH R. SPOFFORD, Librarian of Congress, and
CHARLES GIBBON, Author of "Robin Gray," Etc.










IN launching another argosy, with rich and varied freight, upon the sea of popu-
lar favor, it has been the aim of the Editors and Publishers of this Library

of Choice Literature to provide for the tastes of the widest circle of intelligent

The most largely circulated anthologies are made up of poetical selections
mainly ; in this, poetry holds a subordinate place to prose. While a just proportion
of space has been given to writers on graver themes, the body of the work is made
up of Masterpieces, chosen from the most fresh, vigorous and entertaining produc-
tions of the most noted authors, living and dead, of Europe and America.

It is believed that the people are ready to welcome an enterprise which will
give them in the compact form of Eight Volumes of letter press, (or it may be
bound in four) elegantly illustrated, A LIBRARY OF LITERATURE, so comprehen-
sive as to include choice specimens from nearly every writer of established fame,
representing more than six hundred authors, in nearly two thousand selections.
The gems of thought and expression, the exquisite measures of song, the delicate
play of fancy, the lofty appeals of patriotism, the choicest bits of description, the
delicious sallies of wit and humor, the kindling strains of eloquence all have
their place in these pages. From the best works of the best writers, from novel-
ists and poets, from eloquent orators and judicious publicists, from philosophers
and historians, from travellers and voyagers, from biographers and essayists, not
forgetting the reviewers and pamphleteers, we have gleaned the Library here
presented to the reader.

It is hoped that it may be found worthy of a welcome as extensive as its


It has been the ambition of the publishers to produce THE LIBRARY in a
style worthy of its contents, and it is commended to the lovers of all good things
in the study, the workshop, or at the family fireside, in the confident belief that
its contents, equally instructive and entertaining, represent a substantial share of
the sweetness as well as the strength of the world's literature.

The special thanks of the publishers and editors are due. and are hereby
cheerfully tendered to all American authors and publishers of copyright works,
who have kindly placed at our disposal the many valuable selections from their
respective publications herein kid before the reader.



The World Behind the Scenes William Makepeace Thackeray . 1

Abraham Lincoln - .... Shirley Brooks, London "Punch." 6

Napoleon Le Petit Victor Hugo 6

The Song of the Dying Captain Dowling 10

Rab and his Friends John Brown, M.D 11

The Ballad of Bouillabaisse Wm. M. Thackeray 17

Oration on the Dedication of a Statue to Burns G. W. Curtis 18

The Prize Ode on the Centenary of Burns Isa Craig Knox 23

Speech on Duluth Hon. J. Proctor Knott .... 24

America Samuel F. Smith 27

The Funeral Oration of Pericles Thucydides 27

The Pope and the Beggar Bulwer Lytton 31

London Society a Hundred Years Ago .....*... George 0. Trevelyan 31

Thanatopsis William Cullen Bryant .... 36

Perling Joan John Gibson Lockhart .... 37

Cleopatra Wm. W. Story 38

A Battle Picture Anonymous 40

The Journey of a Day Samuel Johnson 41

Andrea Del Sarto Robert Browning 42

The Storm and Shipwreck Charles Dickens 45

From "in Memoriam" Alfred Tennyson 49

A Week at Batavia The Marquis De Beauvoir ... 49

The Wedding of Shon Maclean Robert Buchannan 54

A Discourse of Trees Henry Ward Beecher 56

The Suicide Banker A. M. Sullivan, M. P. . . . . 59

Carcassonne LippincotC s Magazine 62

A Night of Terror Paul Louis Courier 62

Parallel between Wm. Penn and John Locke George Bancroft 63

The Youth of AVashington George Bancroft 64

Childe Harold Lord Byron 65

Mark Twain on the Weather Samuel L. Clemens 66

The Vision of Mirza Exhibiting a Picture of Human Life Joseph Addison 67

Will Waterproof's Lyrical Monologue Alfred Tennyson 69

Positivism on an Island W. H. Malloch 71

The Wants of Man John Quincy Adams 87

The Babies . Samuel L. Clemens 89



Paraphrase from Seneca Sir Matthew Hale 9U

Budge's Version of the Flood John Habberton

. John G. Holland 92

The Laocoou . . . .

The Treachery of Mettius and its Punishment .... Lwy

The Closing Scene Thoma * Buchanan Read ... 94

The Last Days of the Emperor Otho Tacitus

The Little Man all in Grey J. P. de B&rmger

A Picture of Wild Nature on the Mississippi F. A. de Chateaubriand . ... 97

Wimfreda Anonymous

On Old Age acero 98

The Bill of Mortality Wm - Cowper 100

The Lost and Delicious Leisure of the Olden Time . . . George Eliot 1

The Dream Sir Wm. Davcnant 101

Life in as you Like Douglas J err old 102

A Bridal Song Beaumont and Fletcher .... 105

Disproportion of Man Blaise Pascal 105

The Falcon Boccaccio 107

The King of Thule Goethe 109

Three Sonnets William Drummond .... 109

The Story of Crazy Martha Jacques Jasmin 110

The Complaint Thomas Chatterton 114

The Imprisoned Huntsman Sir Walter Scott 115

England and France Theodore Hook 115

A Garden Reverie Philip Bourke Marston . . . 120

Old Familiar Faces Cliarles Lamb 121

Kabiik, an Eastern Tale A. Crowquill 121

Song. From the Spanish J. G. Lockhart 123

The Lord's Marie Allan Cunningham 124

The Literary Life Matthew Browne 124

Louglirig Tarn Professor Wilson 129

Buy a Broom? Thomas Aird 130

A Retrospective Review Thomas Hood 154

To Blossoms Robert Herrick 155

The Enchanter Faustus and Queen Elizabeth Blackwood's Mag 156

To a Highland Girl Wordsworth 159

The Poet's Dream Lord Lytton 160

On the Moral Qualities of Milton Dr. Channing 161

Song from Faust Goethe 164

On Impudence and Modesty David Hume 165

Stanzas Mrs. Anne Radclijfe .... 165

Human Life Samuel Rogers 166

The Gray Hair Alaric A. Watts 166

Out with the Herring-Fishers Hugh Miller 167

Haidee L or< i Byron 170

The Dean of Santiago From the Spanish 174

The Two Fountains Thomas Moore 176

Master and Man Thomas Crofton Croker ... 177

The Knitter Sir John Bowring 179

To my Honoured Kinsman Dry den 180

The Philosophy of Sorrow D'Arcy Wentworth Thomson. . 182

The Comforter Thomas Moan 184

Peggy Nowlan John Bar, im . 185



The Banks of Clyde Andrew Park 192

The Spate, a Tale of the Clyde Thomas Atkinson 192

Evening Alaric A Watts 197

To J*** H***, Four Years 01.1 Leirth Hunt 198

A Dirge Rev. Georne Crnly 199

A Family Scene Susan Edinondstone Ferrier . . 199

Baby May W. C. Bennett 202

Baby's Shoes W. C. Bennett 203

The Brigand of the Loire Alexander Sutherland .... 203

Fate Ralph Waldo Emerson .... 211

The Romany Girl Ralph Waldo Emerson 211

To a Sky-lark James Hogg 212

Scene from " The Tryal," a Comedy Joanna Baillie 212

Sonnet Henry Kirke White 214

To the Moon John Keats 215

Servian Lyric Sir John Bowring 215

Journal of a Lady of Fashion Countess of Blessington ... 216

Hymn Before Sunrise in the Valley of Chamouni . . . Coleridge 219

The Friend of Humanity and the Kuife-grinder .... Right Hon. George Canning . . 220

Vulgarity and Affectation William Hazlitt 220

The Jester Condemned to Death Horace Smith 224

The Summer Morning John Clare 224

The Horn -book K. a. Pratzel 225

Across the Sands of Dee Charles Kingslty 233

Laura's Bower Leigh Hunt 234

Extracts from the Correspondence of Cowper William Cowper 234

Cupid Taught by the Graces 240

A Choice George Godfrey Cunningham . 240

The Adopted Child Mrs. Hemans 240

My Namesake Theodore Martin 241

Wiustanley, a Ballad . Jean Ingelow 251

The Counterparts 254

Human Life Bernard Barton 258

Polish Superstitions Mrs. Bailie 258

The Sick Child John Struthers 259

Selling Flowers Mrs. Henry Wood 2GO

Sonnet, To a Ladye Win. Dunbar 267

Sonnet, the Fear of Death Sir Philip Sydney 2o'7

Sonnet, Degeneracy of the World Drtimmoiid of Hawthornden . . 267

Sonnet, To Mr. Lawrence John Milton 207

Sonnet, Worldliness Wordsworth 267

Sonnet, On the Grasshopper and Cricket John Keats 2C8

Fact and Fiction Thomas Doubleday 268

Ballad of Cresentius Miss Landon 272

The Graves of a Household Mrs. Hemans 273

The Screen, or "Not at Home" Mrs. Opie 273

The Seven Sisters Wordsworth 277

The Mother's Heart Mrs. Norton 278

My Babes in the Wood Mrs. Piatt 278

Martha the Gipsy Theodore Hook 279

Searching after God Thomas Heynood 287

Masaniello, the Fisherman of Naples 288

On Revisiting the Scenes of my Infancy Dr John Leyden 290



Mrs. Mellor's Diamonds <? A- Sala 291

Home at Last Tom ffood > ijie V oun ff er ... 298

Stanzas . Caroline Bowles Southey . . . 298

The Rustic Wreath Miss Hit ford 299

Wyoming Thomas Campbell 302

Death of Gertru.le Thomas Campbell 302

School Friendship James Smith 303

The Ocean Grave Mrs- John Hunter 306

The Fall of the Leaf Thomas Hood 307

Fidelity From the Spanish 309

Verses . & ndrew Marvel 309

Madame Simple's Investment 310

Song The Old Man Henry Neele 316

The Red-nosed Lieutenant Dr. William Maginn .... 316

The Wall-flower Rev. John Langhorne .... 319

At the Shrine B. Orme 320

Peace and War Shelley 323

Trifles Hannah More 323

Rouge-et-Noir Horace Smith 324

On the Instability of Youth Lord Vaux 329

London Lord Macaulay 330

Laura in Heaven Petrarch 337

An English Landscape George Eliot ..-* 337

Juggling Jerry George Meredith 338

The Dwarf and the Invisible Cap . G. G. Cunningham 340

The Education of Bacchus Rev. George Croly 341

May Morning at Ravenna Leigh Hunt ....... 341

Medicine and Morals Isaac V Israeli 342

From the Arabic 344

The Scottish Sacramental Sabbath James Hislop 344

Little Dominick Miss Edgeworth 346

Lament for her Husband Mrs. Opie 350

The Fags' Revolt Thomas Hughes 351

The Vicar Winthrop M. Praed .... 357

To a Beloved Daughter Henry Alford 358

My Plea Alice Gary 358

The White Boat, Emile Sourestre 359

Soug" Gather ye Rose-buds '' Robert Herrick 370

The Sleep Mrs. E. B. Browning .... 370

Alfred the Truth-teller C/Mrlotte Mary Yonge ... 371

The Forging of the Anchor Samuel Ferguson 375

English Literature Francis Jeffrey .377

The Gondola Glides y. K Uen . ey 3^

Right at Last Mrg ffaskeU 381

The Exchange S.T.Coleridge 386

iood at Sherwood Forest Drayton W

The Story of Marullo | Shirley Brooks '. 388

"g of the Virgins of Israel Wm _ ' Sotheby _ 392

V Good Word for Winter J. R. Loioell . . 393

Soldier's Home Robert Bloomfield 397

The Great Storm of 1703 Hone 3Q8




THREE PORTRAITS, (Bryant, Thackeray, Macaulay) Frontispiece.

THE FAIR VENETIAN, Engraved Title.

RAB, page 16



THE CLYDE, from Erskine Ferry, " 192


NAPLES, from the West "288

THE SHBINE, Roman States, "320





1811, died in London, Doc. 24, 186:!. His father was in
the East India civil service, to which may be due many
life-like pictures in his writings. His early life brought
him a varied experience, first of fortune and then of po-
verty. The study of art took him for years to the Con-
tinent, and at the age of thirty he took up the profession
of authorship, writing copiously for Punch and Frcaer's
Magazine. His first notable work of fiction, Vanity Fair,
appeared in 1840-7, and his Lectures on English Humor-
ists and on the Four Georges, wrought out with rare lite-
rary skill, were delivered to admiring audiences in
England and America from 1851 to 1856. The Cornhill
Magazine began in 18GO under Thackeray's editorship,
and quickly ran to the unprecedented circulation of over
100,000 copies. In person Thackeray was tall, massive-
brained, and commanding with genial and kindly man-
ners. His place in the literature of the nineteenth cen-
tury is a high one, and the title unquestionably belongs
to him of the first satirist of the age. Nowhere are to
be found such pictures of the meanness, selfishness, and
heartless servility of society to rank and money, com-
bined with skilful and masterly portraitures of noble
and kindly men, end devoted, unselfish women. The
style of Thackeray is his own, always pure, free and
flowing, refined, yet forcible, while his delicate and sub-
tile humor, frequently sportive, but never too "broad, en-
livens all his books, which are not wanting also in the
deepest pathos, lofty morality and sometimes tragic

The best novels of Thackeray are Vanity Fair (1847),
The History of Pendennis (1850), Henry Esmond (1852),
The Newcombs (1855), and The Virginia (1857).]

SO Pen had many acquaintances, and be-
ing of a jovial and easy turn, got more
daily : but no friend like Warrington ; and
the two men continued to live almost as
much in common as the Knights of the Tem-
ple, riding upon one horse (for Pen's was
at Warrington's service), and having their
chambers and their servitor in common.

Mr. Warrington had made the acquaint-
ance of Pen's friends of Grosvenor Place

during their last unlucky season in London,
and had expressed himself no better satis-
fied with Sir Francis and Lady Clavering
and her ladyship's daughter than was the
public in general. " The world is right,"
George said, " about those people. The
young men laugh and talk freely before
those ladies, and about them. The girl sees
people whom she has no right to know, and
talks to men with whom no girl should have
an intimacy. Did you see those two re-
probates leaning over Lady Clavering's car-
riage in the Park the other day, and leering
under Miss Blanche's bonnet? No good
mother would let her daughter know those
men, or admit them within her doors."

" The Begum is the most innocent and
good-natured soul alive," interposed Pen.
" She never heard any harm of Captain
Blackball, or read that trial in which Char-
ley Lovelace figures. Do you suppose that
honest ladies read and remember the Chron-
ique Scandaleuse as well as you, you old
grumbler? "

" Would you like Laura Bell to know
those fellows ? " Warrington asked, his face
turning rather red. " Would you let any
woman you loved be contaminated by their
company ? I have no doubt that poor Be-
gum is ignorant of their histories. It seems
to me she is ignorant of a great number
of better things. It seems to me that your
honest Begum is not a lady, Pen. It is not
her fault, doubtless, that she has not had
the education or learned the refinements of
a lady."

" She is as moral as Lady Portsea, who
has all the world at her balls, and as refined
as Mrs. Bull, who breaks the king's English,
and has half a dozen dukes at her table,"
Pen answered, rather sulkily. " Why should
you and I be more squeamish than the rest
of the world ? Why are we to visit the sins
of her fathers on this harmless, kind crea-


ture? She never did anything but kind-
ness to you or any mortal soul. As far as
she knows, she does her best. She does not
set up to be more than she is. She gives
you the best dinners she can buy, and the
best company she can get. She pays the
debts of that scamp of a husband of hers.
She spoils her boy like the most virtuous
mother in England. Her opinion about lit-
erary matters, to be sure is not much ; and
I dare say she never read a line of Words-
worth, or heard of Tennyson in her life."

" No more has Mrs. Flanagan the laun-
dress," growled out Pen's Mentor; "no
more has Betty, the housemaid ; and I have
no word of blame against them. But a
high-souled man doesn't make friends of
these. A gentleman doesn't choose these
for his companions, or bitterly rues it after-
wards if he do. Are you, who are setting
tip to be a man of the world and a philoso-
pher, to tell me that the aim of life is to
gjttle three courses and dine off silver ?
o you dare to own to yourself that your
ambition in life is good claret, and that
you'll dine with any, provided you get a
stalled ox to feed on ? You call me a Cy-
nic why, what a monstrous Cynicism it is,
which you and the rest of you men of the
world admit ! I'd rather live upon raw tur-
nips and sleep in a hollow tree, or turn back-
woodsman or savage, than degrade myself to
this civilization, and own that a French cook
was the thing in life best worth living for."

" Because you like raw beef-steak and a
pipe afterwards," broke out Pen, " you give
yourself airs of superiority over people whose
tastes are more dainty, and are not ashamed
of the world they live in. Who goes about
professing particular admiration, or esteem
or friendship, or gratitude, even for the peo-
ple one meets every day ? If A. asks me to
his house, and gives me his best, I take his
good things for what they are worth and no
more. I do not profess to pay him back in
friendship, but in the convention's money of
society. When we part, we part without any
grief. When we meet, we are tolerably glad
to see one another. If I were only to live
with my friends, your black muzzle, old
George, is the only face I should see."

" You arc your uncle's pupil," said War-
rington rather sadly ; " and you speak like
a worldling."

" And why not? " asked Pendennis ; " why
not acknowledge the world I stand upon,
and submit to the conditions of the society
which we live in and live by ? I am older

than you, George, in spite of your grizzled
whiskers, and have seen much more of the
world than you have in your garret here,
shut up with your books and your reveries
and your ideas of one-and-twenty. 1 say, I
take the world as it is. and being of it will
not be ashamed of it. If the time is out of
joint, have I any calling or strength to set
it right ? "

" Indeed, I don't think you have much of
either," growled Pen's interlocutor.

" If I doubt whether I am better than my
neighbor," Arthur continued, " If I con-
cede that I am no better, I also doubt
whether he is better than I. I see men who
begin with ideas of universal reform, and
who, before their beards are grown, pro-
pound their loud plans for the regeneration
of mankind, give up their schemes after a
few years of bootless talking and vainglorious
attempts to lead their fellows ; and after they
have found that men will no longer hear
them, as indeed they never were in the least
worthy to be heard, sink quietly into the
rank and file, acknowledging their aims im-
practicable, or thankful that they were never
put into practice. The fiercest reformers
grow calm, and are fain to put up with
things as they are : the loudest Radical ora-
tors become dumb, quiescent placemen : the
most fervent Liberals when out of power, be-
come humdrum Conservatives, or downright
tyrants or despots in office. Look at Thiers,
look at Guizot, in opposition and in place !
Look at the Whigs appealing to the country,
and the Whigs in power 1 Would you say
that the conduct of these men is an act of
treason, as the Radicals bawl, who would
give way in their turn, were their turn ever
to come ? No, only that they submit to cir-
cumstances which are stronger than they,
march as the world marches towards reform,
but at the world's pace (and the movements
of the vast body of mankind must needs be
slow), forego this scheme as impracticable,
on account of opposition, that as immature,
because against the sense of the majority,
are forced to calculate drawbacks and diffi-
culties, as well as to think of reforms and
advances, and compelled finally to submit,
and to wait and to compromise."

" The Right honorable Arthur Pendennig
could not speak better, or be more satisfied
with himself, if he was first Lord of the
Treasury and chancellor of the Exchequer,"
Warrington said.

" Self-satisfied ? Why self-satisfied ? "
continued Pen. " It seems to me that my


skepticism is more respectful and more mo-
dest than the revolutionary ardor of other
folks. Many a patriot of eighteen, many a
Spouting-Club orator, would turn the Bishops
out of the House of Lords to-morrow, and
throw the Lords out after the Bishops, and
throw the throne into the Thames after the
Peers and the Bench. Is that man more
modest than I, who take these institutions as
I find them, and wait for time and truth to
develop, or fortify, or (if you like) destroy
them ? A college tutor, or a nobleman's
toady, who appears one fine day as my right
reverend lord, in a silk apron and a shovel-
hat, and assumes a benedictory air over me,
is still the same man we remember at Ox-
bridge, when he was truckling to the tufts,
and bullying the poor undergraduates in
the lecture-room. An hereditary legislator,
who passes his time with jockeys and black-
legs and ballet-girls, and who is called to
rule over me and his other betters because
his grandfather made a lucky speculation
in the funds, or found a coal or tin mine on
his property, or because his stupid ancestor
happened to be in command often thousand
men as brave as himself, who overcame
twelve thousand Frenchmen, or fifty thou-
sand Indians such a man, I say, inspires
me with no more respect than the bitterest
democrat can feel towards him. But, such
as he is, he is a part of the old society to
which we belong : and I submit to his lord-
ship with acquiescence ; and he takes his
place above the best of us at all dinner-
parties, and there bides his time. I don't
want to chop his head off with a guillotine,
or to fling mud at him in the street. When
they call such a man a disgrace to his
order ; and such another, who is good and
gentle, refined and generous, who employs
his great means in promoting every kind-
ness and charity, and art and grace of life,
in the kindest and most gracious manner,
an ornament to his rank the question as to
the use and propriety of the order is not in
the least affected one way or other. There
it is, extant among us, a part of our habits,
the creed of many of us, the growth of cen-
turies, the symbol of a most complicated
tradition there stand my lord the bishop
and my lord the hereditary legislator what
the French call transactions both of them
representing in their present shape mail-
clad barons and double-s worded chiefs (from
whom their lordships the hereditaries, for
the most part, dont descend), and priests,
professing to hold an absolute truth and a

divinely inherited power, the which truth
absolute our ancestors burned at. the stake,
and denied there ; the which divine trans-
missible power still exists in print to
be believed, or not, pretty much at choice ;
and of these, I say, I acquiesce that they
exist, and no more. If you say that these
schemes, devised before printing was known,
or steam was born ; when thought was an
infant, scared and whipped ; and truth un-
der its guardians was gagged and swathed,
and blindfolded, and not allowed to lift its
voice, or to look out, or to walk under the
sun ; before men were permitted to meet, or
to trade, or to speak with each other If any
one says (as some faithful souls do) that
these schemes are forever, and having been
changed and modified constantly are to be
subject to no further development or decay,
I laugh, and let the man speak. But I
would have toleration for these, as I
would ask it for my own opinions ; and if
they are to die, I would rather they had a
decent and natural than an abrupt and
violent death."

'' You would have sacrificed to Jove,"
Warrington said, " had you lived in the time
of the Christian persecutions."

" Perhaps I would," said Pen, with some
sadness. " Perhaps I am a coward, per-
haps my faith is unsteady ; but this is my
own reserve. What I argue here is, that I
will not persecute. Make a faith or a dogma
absolute, and persecution becomes a logical
consequence ; and Dominic burns a Jew, or
Calvin an Arian, or Nero a Christian, or
Elizabeth or Mary a Papist or Protestant ;
or their father both or either, according to

Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 81)