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LITERATURE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
Literature of our own times-Influence of political and social re-
lations—The historic relations of literature, The French Revo-
lution, and its effects—Infidelity-Thirty years' Peace-Scien-
tific progress coincident with letters—History-Its altered tone
Religious element in historical style—Lord Mahon-Macaulay's
History-Historical romance-Waverley Novels—The pulpit-
Sydney Smith-Manning—Poetry of the early part of the cen-
tury-Bowles and Rogers—Campbell-Coleridge's Christabel-
Lay of the Last Minstrel-Scott's poetry................
TRAGIC AND ELEGIAC POETRY.
Contrast of subjects, serious and gay—Tragic poetry—Illustrated in
history-Death of the first-born-Clarendon's raising the stand-
ard at Nottingham-Moral use of tragic poetry-Allston's cri-
ticism-Elegiac poetry-Its power not mere sentimentalism-
Gray's Elegy, an universal poem-Philip Van Artevelde-Caro-
line Bowles—"Pauper's Death Bed”—Wordsworth’s Elegies—
Milton's Lycidas-Adonais-In Memoriam-Shelley's Poem on
Death of Keats—Tennyson-In Memoriam reviewed.......
LITERATURE OF WIT AND HUMOUR.
Subtlety of these emotions-Sydney Smith and Leigh Hunt,
Dullness of jest-books-Hudibras a. tedious book-Sydney
Smith's idea of the study of wit-Charles Lamb—Incapacity
for a jest-German note on Knickerbocker-Stoicism and Pu-
ritanism—Guesses at Truth-Cheerful literature needed for
thoughtful minds—Recreative power of books—Different modes
of mental relaxation—Napoleon-Shelley—Cowper—Southey's
merriness—Doctor Arnold—Shakspeare and Scott's humour-
The Antiquary—Burke-Barrow's definition of wit—Hobbes-
My duty in editing this volume is a very simple one:-to state, with frankness and precision, the circumstances of its publication, and, if need be, to disarm criticism by the absence of any thing like pretension on the part of him whose posthumous work is now given to the reading world of his own countrymen. Immediately on my brother's death in the autumn of last year, or as soon (and with me it was very soon) as all hope of possible rescue had faded away, my attention was turned to his manuscript lectures, delivered in different courses at the University of Pennsylvania. I knew that, as popular lectures, or rather essays at lectures, they had been very successful, and I hoped and believed they would bear the severer test of being printed. This, I was well aware, is not always the case; and I examined these manuscripts with the idea of possible inaptitude clearly in my mind. The result, however, was a conviction that these Lectures, or a portion of them, ought to be published. They contain, aside from their value as works of criticism, developments of the pure taste and gentle feeling of the author, which will interest, at least his friends, and be appreciated by all who value them exactly for what they were designed—not profound disquisitions, but popular