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'I go here and there, culling out of several books the sentences that best please me, not to keep them (for I have no memory to retain them in), but to transplant them into this; where, to say the truth, they are.. no more mine than in their first places'-Montaigne

'Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country? Great books are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every book-worm, when in any fragrant scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it '-COLERIDGE.

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LONDON: PRINTED BY

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE
AND PARLIAMENT STREET

PREFACE.

THE extracts contained in this volume are arranged alphabetically according to subject. Some of them are of established reputation, but a large number are of a less familiar character and deserve to be better known.

With a view to limit the field of selection and avoid much of the matter common to other collections, Shakspeare has been omitted, and the extracts are taken exclusively from the works of deceased authors.

A. B. D.

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