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PREFACE.

The only apology which this work perhaps requires is with regard to the title, for otherwise it belongs to a class of publications, of which the value is so obvious as to admit of no question.

As a compilation, it will be readily seen, that it has been generally formed upon the principle of affording specimens of the literature of different epochs, not indeed methodically arranged, but so chosen as to exhibit a more extensive view of the literary mind of the country, historically considered, than has been attempted in any previous selection of extracts.

The works of popular authors of the present time have not been particularly resorted to, because Mr M.Diarmid, by his tasteful and judicious selection in “ The Scrap Book," has rendered this inexpedient. It was also thought, and the reader will not be backward in acknowledging the propriety of the opinion,

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