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“Thanatopsis,” written by Bryant at twenty-three; the sonnets of the youthful Keats ; extracts from the journal of Longfellow, just out of college ; and “Spartacus to the Gladiators,” written by Elijah Kellogg as a junior declamation.
Great conflicts in legend and history, from the Trojan War to the Franco-Prussian struggle, are recalled in the poetry and eloquence elicited by them. The war of the American Rebellion is still so recent that selections from its literature are difficult; but Sidney Lanier, Timrod, and Grady speak for the South, as do Lincoln, Lowell, and Edward Everett for the North, and their country claims the honor of them all.
These are hints only of what may be found in a study of these volumes. If they develop the love of literature and the habit of storing it in the memory, they will have attained their object and justified their title by offering as food for the mind what Ruskin calls “Bread made of that old, enchanted Arabian grain, the Sesame, which opens doors not of Robbers', but of Kings' Treasuries.”
BLANCHE WILDER BELLAMY,
Editors. OCTOBER, 1890.
The Editors extend their cordial thanks to the following Publishers and Authors whose generous co-operation has made the collection possible, and whose contributions appear in this volume :
To Messrs. Gottsberger & Co., for poems by Rose Terry Cooke; to Messrs. Fords, Howard, and Hulbert, for selections from the writings of Henry Ward Beecher; and to Messrs. Scribner & Co., for poems by Sidney Lanier.
To Reverend Phillips Brooks, Reverend John W. Chadwick, Miss Edna Dean Proctor, Miss Charlotte Fiske Bates, and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe; to Mr. George William Curtis, Mr. Walt Whitman, Mr. Joaquin Miller, Mr. John Hay, Mr. Will H. Thompson, Mr. John Fiske, and Mr. Robert Underwood Johnson; and to the literary executors of Miss Emma Lazarus, Mr. William Cullen Bryant, Mr. Anson Burlingame, and Mr. Henry W. Grady.
Selections from the writings of Longfellow, Emerson, Lowell, Holmes, and Story, are published by business arrangement with Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Columbus crossing the Atlantic..
. Arthur Hugh Clough. 319
..James Russell Lowell. 174
the First Gentleman of Europe ... William Makepeace Thackeray. 330