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PREFACE.

The following Studies—however defective in other respects-possess some claim to exhaustiveness, and consequently I have ventured to hope that with many persons they may have a permanent value. They have been revised, and in some cases extended, from the leading Reviews and Magazines. Notwithstanding, however, the favourable reception the Essays met with on their original appearance, I might not now have collected them, and endeavoured to give to them 'a local habitation and a name, but for the fact that I have been repeatedly pressed to do so by numerous individuals—whose tribute (in some cases, at least) I cannot but regard as flattering —who were desirous of possessing them in a volume. I can only trust that the public and the press will now endorse their verdict. The subjects of the papers, however

. imperfectly treated, are amongst the most attractive which can be named for lovers of books. With regard to the Essay on Thomas Love Peacock, I may be pardoned for

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claiming that it was the first full and substantial recognition of his genius; since it appeared; an admirable edition of his works has been issued, and I am glad that this really remarkable writer has received a much fuller attention than he enjoyed during his lifetime, and even down to the last two or three years. As for the volume generally, my end will have been answered if it should in any appreciable degree strengthen the taste for .. our noble English Literature.

G. B. S.

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