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PLAN OF THE BOOK, AND DIRECTIONS FOR USING IT
The quotations are arranged under topics according to their general meaning, sense, or idea. The topics are in alphabetical order, as are the authors under the topics. An Index to Topics, with cross reference to kindred ones, will be found on page xi.
The Concordance at the end of the book is a word-index of the text of each quotation. Identifying words are generously indexed, so that the lines may be traced through several channels in case the memory fails in exact reading. Enough of the context is given to identify the lines. After each excerpt the page and numerical order on the page is noted.
The Biographical Index is a record of men and women of all ages and nationalities whose words, thoughts, and visions have been passed along into the minds and speech of the people. Under each author's full name is given his nationality, dates of birth and death (L for living), also a brief character sketch, and the numbers of the pages whereon his lines appear.
To find an appropriate quotation for a definite subject, turn to a topic dealing with such an idea, and consult the Topical Index for related headings.
For the exact text of a quotation, or its authority, consult the Concordance. When exact words are not remembered try synonymous ones, or topics on such subjects. If the author alone is remembered, consult the Biographical Index.
When a topic does not give all that may be sought on a subject, consult the Concordance as quotations may contain, as a whole, ideas which have placed them elsewhere.
When quotations from a special author only are desired, consult the Biographical Index where pages are given on which are found that author's lines.
When modern authors are wanted, choose from the Biographical Index, according to dates given of birth and death.
To find priority of authorship, consult Biographical Index for dates of authors’ birth and death.
The plays and poems of Shakespeare and the books of the Bible are given in italics without the names of the authors.
Full names of well-known authors are often omitted.
Popular abbreviations and pen-names are given when established as better known to the public. (Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Artemus Ward.) The Biographical Index supplies full names and has ample cross references.