Mixed Essays: Irish Essays and Others

Mixed Essays: Irish Essays and Others

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Mixed Essays: Irish Essays and Others

Mixed Essays: Irish Essays and Others

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The first essay in this volume was published nearly twenty years ago, as preface to a work on Continental Schools, which has probably been read by specialists only. The other essays have appeared in well-known reviews.

The present volume touches a variety of subjects, and yet it has a unity of tendency--a unity which has more interest for an author himself, no doubt, than for other people; but which my friendly readers, whose attention has long been my best encouragement and reward, will not unwillingly suffer me, perhaps, to point out to them.

Whoever seriously occupies himself with literature will soon perceive its vital connection with other agencies. Suppose a man to be ever so much convinced that literature is, as indisputably it is, a powerful agency for benefiting the world and for civilising it, such a man cannot but see that there are many obstacles preventing what is salutary in literature from gaining general admission, and from producing due effect. Undoubtedly, literature can of itself do something towards removing those obstacles, and towards making straight its own way. But it cannot do all. In other words, literature is a part of civilisation; it is not the whole. What . . .

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