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PREFACE.

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.

The work herewith presented if the offspring of a desultory course of reading, extending through a period of more than twenty years. When, in the pleasant paths of study, an apothegm or vivid saying has been met with, bearing the impress of mind and mature thought, illustrating in a concise and significant manner a great truth, or exhibiting some marked phase of philosophy or peculiar aspect of life, with brief but happy expressions of familiar things, such gems have been transferred from their original setting for record and classification.

The incipient steps in this direction were the natural ones of a thoughtful reader, such as turned-down leaves and marginal notes, until a curiosity to compare the refined thought of one favorite author or classic authority with that of another upon the same theme led to a series of pencilled extracts upon various cardinal subjects. Mental research was thus gradually stimulated to collect from the shores of literature such golden sands as, from their brilliancy and suggestiveness, dazzled both the sense and the imagination.

For years this constantly growing collection was solely pursued as a matter of personal interest, and with no idea of future publication, until its volume had so increased, and its variety become so comprehensive, as to attract the attention of others who were casually aware of its existence. In a literary point of view, the undersigned claims no merit, save that of an industrious compiler, whose labor has been its own great reward, in the pleasurable memories it has aroused of those authors, ancient and modern, with whom so many delightful hours have been passed.

M. M. B.

TO

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THE PATIENT AND CHEERFUL ASSOCIATE OF MY STUDIES, AFTER MORE THAN
THIRTY YEARS OF HAPPY COMPANIONSHIP,

THIS VOLUME
IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.
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THE COMPILES.

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