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EXTRACTS, AND CHARACTERS
IN ENGLISH LITERATURE,
SIR EGERTON BRYDGES, BART. K. J. M. P.
PRINTED BY T. BENSLEY AND SON,
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN,
PREFACE TO VOL. IV.
THE completion of this fourth volume of Restituta brings the work to a conclusion.
The Editor at
length ceases his labours, on the voluminous subject which furnishes its contents, without regret. Yet a proud consciousness of having contributed copious and important materials for the illustration of old English literature, more especially its poetry, sets him above the painful feeling of toil thrown away, or days idly spent. It is nothing to him if the superficial or the ignorant, the jester or the man of daily common-place knowledge, pushes aside in scorn pages so apparently uncouth, and values only the flimsy yet artful relation of some modern traveller, or the poignant malignity of some political lie, or some subtle and misleading criticism of the day! Such things are calculated to excite interest as short in its duration as it is intense in its degree.
It is probable that the passion for the literary antiquities of our country may have been on the b