Imatges de pàgina

subject of their particular study. To have accumulated critical remarks would have been an officious obtrusion upon the judgment of the reader.

In tumbling over such a multitude of books, and upon subjects almost equally multitudinous, I can by no means presume to hope, that I have always lighted upon passages, the very best that might have been chosen. In respect of the principal authors, I trust, there will be little room for complaint; yet there will still remain many flowers of beauty and fragrance, which would have embellished the garland here presented, and on which my discursive eye has not fallen. Should the opportunity be allowed me I should gratefully cull any which might be pointed out

me by some more attentive or tasteful. wanderer in the fields of literature. Besides, it can scarcely be deemed unreasonable for me to alledge, that the toil of transcription (though in this respect I have had much assistance) has


been yet considerable; not to mention the unavoidable waste of labour, arising from alteration of taste in selection, and from the difficulty of proportioning the extracts. Had I thoroughly foreseen the tediousness occasioned by these causes, I should almost have been deterred from the undertaking.

In a work of this kind, fame is entirely out of the question; if the public, therefore, should think proper to call for a second edition, I should very readily adopt any suggestion, either from friend or stranger, which I thought could add either to its utility or entertainment.

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