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Reference

1. THE TROUBADOURS.—When, in the tenth century, the nations of the south of Europe attempted to give consistency to the rude dialects which had been produced by the mixture of the Latin with the northern tongues, the Provencal, or Langue d'oc, was the first to come to perfection. The study of this language became the favorite recreation of the higher classes during the tenth and eleventh centuries, and poetry the elegant occupation of those whose time was not spent in the ruder pastimes of the field.

1. The Language.—2. Dutch Literature to the Sixteenth Century: Maerlant; Melis Stoke; De Weert; the Chambers of Rhetoric; the Flemish Chroniclers; the Rise of the Dutch Republic.—3. The Latin Writers: Erasmus; Grotius; Arminius; Lipsius; the Scaligers, and others; Salmasius; Spinoza; Boerhaave; Johannes Secundus.—4. Dutch Writers of the Sixteenth Century: Anna Byns; Coornhert; Marnix de St. Aldegonde, Bor, Visscher, and Spieghel.—5. Writers of the Seventeenth Century: Hooft; Vondel; Cats; Antonides; Brandt, and others; Decline in Dutch Literature.—6.

1. HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND TRAVELS.—From the year 1820, American literature may be considered as fairly launched upon its national career. The early laborers in the field had immense difficulties to encounter from ridicule abroad and want of appreciation at home; but they at last succeeded in dispelling all doubts as to the capability of the American mind for the exercise of original power, and to some extent diverted public thought from Europe as an exclusive source of mental supplies.

1. ORIGIN OF THE ALEXANDRIAN LITERATURE.—As the literary predominance of Athens was due mainly to the political importance of Attica, the downfall of Athenian independence brought with it a deterioration, and ultimately an extinction of that intellectual centralization which for more than a century had fostered and developed the highest efforts of the genius and culture of the Greeks.

1. THE RENAISSANCE AND THE REFORMATION.—During the preceding ages, erudition and civilization had not gone hand-in-hand. On the one side there was the bold, chivalric mind of young Europe, speaking with the tongues of yesterday, while on the other was the ecclesiastical mind, expressing itself in degenerate Latin.

1. Introduction. The Ancient Scandinavians; their Influence on the English Race.—2. The Mythology.—3. The Scandinavian Languages.—4. Icelandic, or Old Norse Literature: the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, the Scalds, the Sagas, the “Heimskringla,” The Folks-Sagas and Ballads of the Middle Ages.—5.

In the preceding pages the progress of literature has been briefly traced through its various periods—from the time when its meagre records were confined to inscriptions engraved on stone, or inscribed on clay tablets or papyrus leaves, or in its later and more perfect development when, written on parchment, it was the possession of the learned few, hidden in libraries and so precious that a book was sometimes the ransom of a city— till the invention of printing gave to the world the accumulated treasures of the past; and from that time to the present, when the press has poured forth from y

1. The Origin of Letters.—2. The Phoenician Alphabet and Inscriptions.— 3, The Greek Alphabet. Its Three Epochs.—4. The Medieval Scripts. The Irish. The Anglo-Saxon. The Roman. The Gothic. The Runic.

At the time of the fall of Constantinople, ancient Greek was still the vehicle of literature, and as such it has been preserved to our day. After the political changes of the present century, however, it was felt by the best Greek writers that the old forms were no longer fitted to express modern ideas, and hence it has become transfused with those better adapted to the clear and rapid expression of modern literature, though at the same time the body and substance, as well as the grammar, of the language have been retained.

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