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“ The treatment of the illustrious dead by the quick, often reminds me of the gravedigger in Hamlet, and the skull of poor defunct Yorick.” W. H. B.
“ Multi ad sapientiam pervenire potuissent, nisi se jam pervenisse putassent."
“ There's nothing so amusing as human nature, but then you must have some one to laugh with.”
If thou be a severe, sour-complexioned mañ,"then 1-Kere cisallops them to be a
competent judge. — IZAAK WALTON
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by
TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
NOTE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
THE author of “Rab and his Friends” scarcely needs an
introduction to American readers. By this time many have learned to agree with a writer in the “ North British Review" that “Rab” is, all things considered, the most perfecs prose narrative since Lamb's “ Rosamond Gray."
A new world of doctors, clergymen, shepherds, and carriers is revealed in the writings of this cheerful Edinburgh scholar, who always brings genuine human feeling, strong sense, and fine genius to the composition of his papers. Dogs he loves with an enthusiasm to be found nowhere else in canine litera. ture. He knows intimately all a cur means when he winks his eye or wags his tail, so that the whole barking race, - terrier, mastiff, spaniel, and the rest, - finds in him an affectionate and interested friend. His genial motto seems to run thus --“I cannot understand that morality which excludes animals from ruman sympathy, or releases man from the debt and obligation he owes to them.”
With the author's consent we have rejected from his two series of “Horæ Subsecivæ" the articles on strictly professional subjects, and have collected into this volume the rest of his admirable papers
in that work. The title, “Spare Hours,” is also adopted with the author's sanction.
Dr. Brown is an eminent practising physician in Edinburgh, with small leisure for literary composition, but no one has stronger claims to be ranked among the purest and best writers of our day.
BOSTON, December 1861.