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My former Selection from Addison's Papers was made with a view to readers of every description, and every rank in life; and I am much gratified by hearing that the volume has been placed on the Supplemental Catalogue of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge for the use of Parochial Libraries. My object being of so general a nature, I omitted such papers as required or implied some acquaintance with the languages,at least with the writers-of Greece and Rome. For the same reason I omitted the mottos, which are generally taken from the Greek and Latin Classics.
The present Selection is intended for readers whose literary education has been more advanced, and who have more leisure for light reading, than many of those for whom the former volume was designed. But though the papers now given are for the most part of a less serious character, nothing, I trust, will be found in them in the slight
Some persons will, perhaps, think that the eleven papers on the Pleasures of the Imagination, and the nineteen papers containing the criticism on Milton's Paradise Lost, ought not to have been omitted. The critique on Milton has been repeatedly printed in a separate form. The Essay on the Pleasures of the Imagination has also, I think, been printed separately; and as the papers, of which it consists, follow each other without interruption in the original work, it has there the character of a distinct treatise. An additional motive for not adopting it, was the inadequate view, (as has been pointed out by Mr. Dugald Stewart,) which it takes of its subject.
Residing at a considerable distance from London, I did not make a point of correcting the proofs myself, but make no doubt that the Latin quotations and mottos are given by Mr. Gilbert with his usual accuracy.