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The Editor (for he aspires to no higher honour,) of the volume now presented to the Public, does not presume to enter the arena of Literature as a practised author; on the contrary, he is merely an amateur, who, in a course of reading somewhat desultory and extensive, extracted for his private portfolio such articles as at the time he deemed curious or interesting.
In the course of a few years, these extracts so accumulated, that he availed himself of a little leisure from more pressing avocations, to reduce them into some sort of order for his own convenience. In doing this, he frequently met with articles confirming or elucidating each other ; and, in order to
render them more complete, he was not unfrequently induced to make a few observations, either introductory or explanatory.
When this mass of scraps and fragments had been thus arranged and elucidated, he thought that what had gratified himself, and cost some labour, might not be altogether unacceptable to others; and in a lucky or unlucky hour,-as the Public shall decide-he determined to print it.
In making the selection, the Editor has been as anxious to avoid the dry and barren technicalities of bibliography on the one hand, as he has been not to make it a mere collection of “ elegant extracts” on the other. He trusts, however, that there will be found some articles that are rare, others that are curious, and many that are interesting; and should there be a few that do not come under any of these classes, he trusts to the public indulgence for a lenient censure.
The Editor has been careful, wherever it was in his power, to mention the source whence his