Literature, Ancient and Modern

Samuel G. Goodrich


Excerpt from Literature, Ancient and Modern: With Specimens

Literature consists of the Written Thoughts of Man, and national literature is the Reflection of the National Mind. In its collective meaning, literature embraces the accumulated knowledge of the world - all we know of the past, all that can give interpretation of the present, or shed light upon the future. It is the great fountain of instruction; the wide ocean of human experience; made up, drop by drop, of the knowledge and the ignorance - the hopes and fears - the pleasures and sufferings - the triumphs and defeats - of by-gone generations.

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