Excerpt from The Dryden Epoch, Vol. 5 The series of which this volume is the fifth may be said to have three objects: First, to teach the history of our literature in a rational and orderly manner; second, to illuminate the history of England by exhibiting the thoughts of its men of letters in their own words; and, third, to display, as if in a gallery, some specimens of the inheritance into which every English-reading boy and girl has entered. It has been too long the practice to teach English literature in handbooks which give only the briefest examples, if any, of the works they profess to describe; and our many excellent school anthologies, from their want of a definite historical arrangement, and the absence of prose, fail almost entirely to give a connected view of the development of our language. Now, the history of our literature, falling, as it undoubtedly does, into a series of well-marked periods of excellence, appears to lend itself peculiarly to the historical treatment suggested by the word 'epoch.' My general principles of selection are three - the intrinsic merit and interest of the piece, its convenience for use in schools, and its ability to stand by itself without great detriment from the absence of context. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.