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apparent. The division of Middle English into three stages, commencing severally with 1154, 1250, and 1350, seemed inevitable. During this period the language was travelling, in accordance with fixed laws, from one permanent condition to another; and, like everything else that is moving steadily in a definite direction, reached its destination by a slow but regular process. These Middle English Specimens will supply the beginner with the means of tracing the language in the different stages of that progress by which it has, passed from its earliest to its latest forms.

The Notes, which form an important feature of the work, have been drawn up by Mr. James Rowley, of Trinity College, Dublin. Besides elucidating the Extracts from the several authors, an attempt has been made, so far as was compatible with the limited space at command, to kindle in the minds of the learners some interest in the vocabulary itself of our language. With this view the history of individual words has been frequently given, and reference made to the linguistic law of Grimm and to other results of comparative philology. In the execution of this part of the Work it was necessary to consult brevity and to give the maximum of knowledge in the minimum of space; but it is hoped that each Note will be found to supply all the information that is necessary.

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73. John Webster. From the

and Cressida .. .. .. 94

Duchess of Malfy .. .

2.

.. 107

Mark Antony's Oration over

the dead body of Cæsar. 71. James Shirley. From the Con-

Julius Cæsar

tention of Ajax and Ulysses., 108

CHAPTER V.

Tux SO-CALLED METAPIYSICAL POETS.

Page

CII ALTER VII.

MILTON AND MARVELL.

132

CII APTER VIII.

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