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A DICTIONARY OF

RARE AND CURIOUS INFORMATION.

A Treasury of Facts, Legends, Sayings and their Explanation, obtained

in Large Part from Sources not Generally Accessible, and

Covering more than One Thousand Topics of General

Interest and Frequent Inquiry.

ROBERT THORNE, M.A.

I

NEW YORK:

A. L. BURT, PUBLISHER,

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PREFACE.

'I 'HERE ARE many subjects constantly arising in conversa.*. tion and in general reading upon which many have vague ideas and elusive reminiscences of former knowledge, but upon which few can give any accurate or definite information. If a large encyclopedia is consulted, these particular subjects are often not to be found, or else are treated so exhaustively and scientifically that the average reader finds it tedious and difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the few essential facts that are desired. The following pages comprise a collection of short articles on just such topics, ranging naturally from the most frivolous to the most serious and scientific, but selected with much care, in order to include those of most general interest and frequent inquiry. Suggestions for many of them have been obtained from the queries in the correspondence departments of periodicals and newspapers. The volume is strictly popular and not intended for scientific reference; but all statements are supported by the best authorities, and in each case the effort and aim have been to state in clear and concise language just the kind and amount of information which are usually sought. The matter has been drawn from a great number of sources, many of them being quite inaccessible to the community at large. Thus, in its purpose and scope, the book is quite unlike any other now in the Sands of the public, and suggests a certain sphere of usefulness and convenience which the editor trusts that it will fill.

The Editor.

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