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Some of the Extracts which follow, scarcely come under the denomination of “ Familiar Quotations," strictly speaking ; as illustrating this may be named some of the passages from Byron and Scott, “ Rule Britannia” from Thomson, and lines from “ A Love Song in the Modern Taste," by Swift. These selected pieces, however, are, it is believed, all of a salient character, and are frequently alluded to in the course of polite conversation and literary discussion. In the Quotations from Shakspere, the aim has been to give merely the familiar passage, but in some instances, as, for example, the advice of Polonius to his son, in “Hamlet," Portia's celebrated speech on mercy in the “ Merchant of Venice," and some others, so many phrases in everyday use occur that it has been deemed advisable to give the extract at length. It has been objected, indeed, that the Quotations from Shakspere have not been given more lengthily, but as this volume does not profess to be a collection of the beauties of the authors whose works are quoted, but merely embraces those portions in daily use, it has not been thought necessary to give lengthy passages, except in the occasional cases mentioned. In a companion volume to this,* the Compiler has endeavoured to meet the objection alluded to.
* “Choice Thoughts from Shakspere.” London, Whittaker and Co.
In preparing this volume for the press, a great deal of research has of necessity been incurred, and for the facilities afforded him for reference by several gentlemen to whom he has applied, the Compiler desires to tender his sincere acknowledgments. He especially desires to record the attention he has received from Mr. Smiles, the obliging librarian of the Manchester Free Library, and from Mr. Perris of the Lyceum Library, Liverpool. He also has to recognize the courtesy of Mr. Murray in placing some Copyright portions of Lord Byron's works at his disposal. Mr. Grocott, of Liverpool, too, himself the author of a useful volume of Quotations, is thanked for some information which he has very kindly and very promptly furnished.