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No apologies aro nceded for a new cdition of so favourite an author as Plutarch. From the period of the revival of classical litoraturo in Europo down to our own times, his writings havo dono moro than thoso of any other singlo author to familiariso us with tho greatest mon and tho greatest ovents of tho ancient world.
Tho groat Duko of Marlborough, it is said, confessed that his only knowloilgo of English history was derived from Shakcspcaro's historical plays, and it would not be too much to say that a very largo proportion of educated mon, in our own as well as in Marlborough's times, have owed much of their knowledge of classical antiquity to the study of Plutarch's Lives. Other writers may be read with profit, with admiration, and with interest; but fow, liko Plutarch, can gossip pleasantly while instruct. ing solidly; can breatho lifo into the dry skoloton of history, and show that tho lifo of a Greck or Roman worthy, when rightly dealt with, can provo as entertaining as a modern novel. No ono is so well ablo as Plutarch to dispel the doubt which all schoolboys fool as to whether the names about which they read ever belonged to men who were really alive; his characters are so intensely human and lifelike in their faults and failings as well as in their virtues, that we bogin to think of them as of pooplo whom we have ourselves personally known.