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"Out of the old fieldes cometh al this new corne fro yere to yere," And out of the fresh woodes cometh al these new flowres here.
THE small thin volume, the first to bear the title of this collection, after passing through eight editions, each enlarged, now culminates in its ninth,
it, closes its tentative life.
This extract from the Preface of the fourth edition is applicable to the present one:
"It is not easy to determine in all cases the degree of familiarity that may belong to phrases and sentences which present themselves for admission; for what is familiar to one class of readers may be quite new to another. Many maxims of the most famous writers of our language, and numberless curious and happy turns from orators and poets, have knocked at the door, and it was hard to deny them. But to admit these simply on their own merits, without assurance that the general reader would readily recognize them as old friends, was aside from the purpose of this collection. Still, it has been thought better to incur the risk of erring on the side of fulness."
With the many additions to the English writers, the present edition contains selections from the French, and from the wit and wisdom of the ancients. A few passages have been admitted without a claim to familiarity, but solely on the ground of coincidence of thought.
I am under great obligations to M. H. MORGAN, Ph. D., of Harvard University, for the translation of Marcus Aurelius, and for the translation and selections from the Greek tragic writers. I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. DANIEL W. WILDER, of Kansas, for the quotations from Pilpay, with contributions from Diogenes Laertius, Montaigne, Burton, and Pope's Homer; to Dr. WILLIAM J. ROLFE for quotations from Robert Browning; to Mr. JAMES W. MCINTYRE for quotations from Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Mrs. Browning, Robert Browning, and Tennyson. And I have incurred other obligations to friends for here a little and there a little.
It gives me pleasure to acknowledge the great assistance I have received from Mr. A. W. STEVENS, the accomplished reader of the University Press, as this work was passing through the press.
In withdrawing from this very agreeable pursuit, I beg to offer my sincere thanks to all who have assisted me either in the way of suggestions or by contributions; and especially to those lovers of this subsidiary literature for their kind appreciation of former editions.
Accepted by scholars as an authoritative book of reference, it has grown with its growth in public estimation with each reissue. Of the last two editions forty thousand copies were printed, apart from the English reprints. The present enlargement of text equals three hundred and fifty pages of the previous edition, and the index is increased with upwards of ten thousand lines.
CAMBRIDGE, March, 1891.