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ESSAYS OF FRANCIS JEFFREY
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
LEWIS E. GATES
INSTRUCTOR IN ENGLISH IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY
GINN & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
THE following Selections from Jeffrey's Essays have a three-fold purpose: first, to illustrate Jeffrey's style and methods as a critic and his most characteristic opinions; secondly, to give examples of what was in its day deemed the best literary criticism, with a view to suggesting the changes in methods and aims that have since been wrought; thirdly, to bring together elementary discussions of a few terms and topics in literature which students are always supposed to be familiar with, but which they can hardly find treated in ordinary manuals or reference-books. With these aims in mind it has seemed best to limit the Selections to essays on literature. This limitation ensures unity, and the resulting volume may well be used by classes that are beginning the independent study of literary topics and of methods of criticism.
On the other hand, this limitation prevents the Selections from doing justice to Jeffrey's versatility, and from illustrating satisfactorily certain points on which much. stress is laid in the Introduction, the range of the Edinburgh essays, and their courage and vigor in the treatment of religious, social, and political questions. The reader who wishes illustrations of these points, must consult Jeffrey's four volumes of Contributions