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« Grateful as I am to the Good BEING whose bounty has
imparted to me this reasoning intellect, whatever it is, I hold
myself proportionably indebted to any one, from whose enlightened
understanding another ray of knowledge communicates to mine.

I am satisfied that, really to inform the understanding, is to
correct, and to enlarge the heart.”


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I avail myself of the permission, most obligingly accorded me, to dedicate this work to

your Grace.

I publish with no pecuniary views, but in the very humble hope that my unpretending volume may be of some use, however small, to my fellowcreatures. Should this, fortunately for me, be the case, its favourable reception by the public is, of course, desirable; and I know no more likely mode of effecting this object, than, availing myself of the privilege, by which I am honoured, of associating with it the name of one in such high and deserved estimation as the Duke of Sutherland.

I do hope that I may venture, without any sacrifice of good taste, gratefully to allude, upon this occasion, to kindnesses shown, by your Grace's

grandfather to my father, and by the late Duke and your Grace to my father and myself, and, in the same spirit, to allude to invariable personal courtesy.

I have the honour to be,

with unfeigned respect,

your Grace's


and obliged


Linley Wood,

Oct. 23. 1843.


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“ How excellently observed !” say I, when I read a passage in an author whose opinion agrees with mine: when we differ, then I pronounce him to be 66 mistaken.”

Notwithstanding the truth of this remark, I have ventured to throw together some of those passages which, in a course of rather extensive reading, have more especially struck me; not without the humble hope that, to some persons at least, they may afford instruction and amusement.

When we consider that great portion of our species who have not the means of access to large collections of books, and also how many there are who, possessing extensive libraries, are deprived, by the urgency of domestic or public affairs, of the power to dedicate much time to general literature; when we consider these two classes alone, it seems probable that a work may not be without its use, which, at small expense of time, will direct attention to some of those passages, well worthy of notice, which occur so frequently in the writings of the good, the talented, and the wise.

It would have been very easy to have swelled this work to a much larger size; that, however,

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