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SELECTED ESSAYS

OF

HENRY FIELDING

EDITED

WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY

GORDON HALL GEROULD, B.LITT. (Oxon.)

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828
F459
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COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY

GORDON HALL GEROULD

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

55.7

The Athenæum Press
GINN & COMPANY. PRO.
PRIETORS · BOSTON. U.S.A.

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This selection of the essays of Henry Fielding is designed to introduce him as an essay writer rather than as a novelist. It is an attempt to show his mastery of prose style and vigorous thought, quite apart from his yet more extraordinary mastery of narrative. It may serve, I hope, to give a practical acquaintance with the man and his work to some readers who for reasons of youth, or distaste, or the force of tradition have not yet learned their Fielding in his novels. Some may be genuinely surprised to find these essays unexceptionable in delicacy, not unfit reading virginibus puerisque; though lovers of Fielding's art do not need to be told that his coarsest passages are less liable to do harm than much of the meretricious work that young misses and growing boys are nowadays permitted to read unblushingly and unthinkingly. This little book certainly contains nothing improper, and it has been made with the one idea of giving a representative selection of the essays. It contains by no means all of Fielding's work in this field, though perhaps the cream of it. In order to avoid the danger of scrappiness, the essays have been arranged not chronologically but with an attempt at logical sequence. Reference to the chronological list at the end of the volume will show instantly whence any given selection is taken.

The text is based on first or second editions in most cases, though Murphy's edition of 1762 has been used for the extracts from The Covent Garden Journal and the Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon. Murphy's text of the Works has been reprinted over and over again by subsequent editors, though except

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