Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/1187

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their own language, it is good to have in a Home Library as cheap, neat and compact as the modem art of publishing can make it, all the best books of the world.

The first six books of the Universal Library will be taken from writers of five nations— England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The scries will begin cheerfully with Sheridan's Plays, because they are sure of an easy welcome from all readers. France will be repre- sented, not by direct translation, but by a volume of the plays of English writers, Dryden, Wycherley, Fielding, plays such as " CoUey Gibber's Nonjuror," that have been founded upon plays of Moli^ Literature of Spain will be represented by Southey's version of the "Chronicle of the Cid"; of Germany, by Goethe's "Faust"; of Italy, by Machiavelli's " Prince." A volume of Rabelais will be also within the number of the first half-dozen books. As the series advances, it is meant gradually to include a full representation of the English Drama, from the "Miracle Plays" downward; the most significant books upon the theory of Government and on Political Economy, such as Hobbes's " Leviathan," Locke's " Essays of Civil Government," the chief writings of Jeremy Bentham, and other books that are more quoted than read. There will be Hooker's "Ecclesiastical Polity." There will be books also of the Puritans whom it opposed. In Poetry and Fiction, many writers who now live chiefly as names will come back into fellowship, and the old coinages of wit again be current Sometimes the work of different writers will be placed within one volume in significant juxtaposition. Thus, produced at the same time, and dealing in very different ways with the same thought of the time^ Johnson's " Rasselas " will be associated with Voltaire's "Candide."

The text of the volumes published in the Universal Library will be carefully printed fix>m the copies indicated by the Editor, and it will be printed without annotation. Whatever explanation may be given will be found in the Introduction to each book. The length of each Introduction will depend upon the matter to be introduced ; the average length will be about four pages. In some volumes, however, the text will require editing. Old writers will be printed as we print Shakespeare for common use, without suffering the swift passage of thought from mind to mind to be retarded by those obsolete forms of spelling which are no part of the thought of man, except when he is studying words as their historian. In literature words are but symbols, I incomplete at best, of the stirrings of a life within life, compared to