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may remark that for the most part the selections given have formed materials for study and discussion in a class in English Literature which I have the privilege to conduct, and I may be permitted to indulge the hope that the volume will be found of some little use in other classes of the same kind.
I need, perhaps, hardly say that my sympathies are with those critical readers who think that this great essayist or that masterpiece should have been in-. cluded, but I would urge in extenuation of the shortcomings of the selection in this respect, that considerations of space, and, in the case of the more modern essayists, difficulties of copyright, will account for many omissions.
I have to express my obligations to the Clarendon Press Selections for the essays of Addison and Steele, edited respectively by Mr. Thomas Arnold and Mr. Austin Dobson; to the latter's Eighteenth Century Essays in the Parchment Library; and to Mr. J. R. Lobban's English Essays (Blackie and Son); though, as a general rule, the use to which I have put these, and the various anthologies of English prose and critical works on the essayists which I have consulted, has been to turn to them after first making my own selection.
I also have to tender my thanks for the courtesy of those who have most generously permitted me to include the more recent essays :—to Mr. R. P. Arnold for The French Play in London, by Matthew Arnold; to Mr. Horatio F. Brown for A Venetian Medley, by
John Addington Symonds; to Mr. Lloyd Osbourne for Walking Tours, by Robert Louis Stevenson; to Messrs. A. and C. Black for Rab and his Friends, by Dr. John Brown, and for the essay on Goldsmith, by Lord Macaulay ; Messrs. Chatto and Windus for Meadow Thoughts, by Richard Jefferies, and for confirming permission for the essay by R. L. Stevenson; and to Messrs. Smith, Elder and Company for Thackeray's two Roundabout Papers, On a Lazy Idle Boy and Notes of a Week's Holiday, and for confirmation of permission in the case of the essays by Matthew Arnold and J. A. Symonds respectively. If, unwittingly, I have infringed the rights of any, I have to tender them my apologies for the oversight, and to crave their kind indulgence.
Further, I must thank those friends who have helped me in other ways ; particularly Mr. W. Braginton, M.A., Dean of the Civil Service Department of King's College, London, for generous advice, and Miss Mary Palmer and Miss Maud Brougham for kind assistance.
52 BRONDESBURY VILLAS, N.W.