THE HISTORY OF RUSSIA,' 'LIVES OF THE ENGLISH POETS,' ETC.
I hold that no man can have any just conception of the History of England
who has not often read, and meditated, and learnt to love the great Poets of
England. The greatest of them, such as Chaucer, Shakspeare, Massinger,
George Herbert, Milton, Cowley, Dryden, Pope, and Burns, often throw more
rich and brilliant colours, and sometimes even more clear and steady lights,
on the times and the doings of our forefathers, than are to be gathered out of
all the chroniclers together, from the Venerable Bede to the Philosophical
Hume. They are at least the greatest and the best commentators on those
chroniclers.'—Sir James Stephen on Desultory and Systematic Reading.
JOHN W. PARKER AND SON, WEST STRAND.