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THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC TIERARY

ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

First printed, March, 1886. Reprinted, May, 1886. New Edition, January, 1892, Reprinted, April, 1892.

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PREFACE

THESE essays were originally written for the St. James's Gazette, at the suggestion of Mr. F. W. Greenwood, who then edited the paper. They have now for some time been out of print, and in revising them the author has made a few slight corrections. He must admit that the form in which they are cast, comments on authors' work addressed to themselves, has never been greatly to his mind. It is plain that one could not write about themselves to contemporaries, although Politics, since Junius's time, have not disdained this mode of criticism. Letters to and from the Dead have not infrequently been ventured in literature, but to attempt letters from Dead Authors would demand a confidence which the present writer does not possess. Except in the single instance of Chapelain, he has approached no author whom he does not admire, and this perhaps las made his task less difficult, if there be degrees in impossibility. Yet he feels that he has been especially unsuccessful in the case where his admiration and sympathy are deepest and most sincere,

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