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PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.

The title-page of this volume explains with sufficient distinctness the object with which it was originally undertaken. This was to collect into one body notices of the most remarkable Origins, Inventions, Localities, Titles, Dignities, Etymologies, Epithets, and Colloquial Phrases, &c.; and to give such accounts of them as were to be found in the best writers on these different subjects.

That such a Compendium of Amusing Knowledge was wanted, has been proved by the sale of two large editions. A Third being now called for, advantage has been taken of that circumstance to correct those numerous trifling errors which were scarcely to be avoided in the first impressions of a work consisting of so vast a number of minute facts and dates; and although it cannot be hoped that the present edition is entirely free from such small blemishes, it is believed that, by the correction of many of them, and by the addition of much new and interesting matter, it appears with increased claims to the favourable consideration of the Public.

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In my endeavours to give the work this improved character, I have been greatly assisted by my Father, Mr. WILLIAM J. THOMS, and by Mr. YEOWELL; and among the most pleasant parts of my task is making this public acknowledgment of their kind and valuable assistance.

MERTON A. THOMS.

25, HOLYWELL STREET, MILLBANK,

1853.

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