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It is seldom fully appreciated, what a very large share of the world's literature is history of some sort. The primitive savage is probably the only kind of man who takes no interest in it; except it be that the memory of the dead is often carefully obliterated by him, and the names, or even words suggesting the names, of his fathers, tabooed from his speech. But as soon as a spark of civilisation illumines this primitive darkness, men begin to take an interest in other men, not only beyond their own immediate surroundings, but beyond the limits of their own generation. Interest in the past and provision for the future are perhaps the essential mental differences between the civilised man and the savage.

Almost all Epic poems

According as this care for the past and the future increases, all literature divides itself into that which concerns the forces of nature and that which concerns the history of man. the literature of imagination starts from this latter. profess to tell the history of heroes. Tragic poems profess to analyse their emotions at some great crisis of their lives. Lyric poems are of interest, chiefly as giving us the history of the poet's soul. Even the modern novel, which is avowedly fictitious, must base itself upon the history of ordinary men, and borrows most of its plots from actual occurrences in their lives. The historical novel is a manifest bridge between the actual occurrences of past time, and the desire to know more of the motives, of the colour, of the character of the actors, than has been handed down in contemporary documents. This kind of novel, if professorial, like the

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