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NEW MAS K S.
ROBERT BLAKEY, Ph. D.,
AUTHOR OF "THE HISTORY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND," ETC., ETC.
“ It is often both profitable and pleasant to wander a little from the beaten
270, b. 15.
A PREFACE to a book is generally something which the Author wishes to communicate to the Reader in a somewhat private and confidential manner. The document, whether long or short, contains matter which is to be uttered in subdued and familiar accents—not in that formal and professional tone which the Writer would use to the world at large. Indeed, a Preface is a private and privileged communication, dashed off with a careless air, and under a kind of pleasing impression that his labours have just come to a close, and that he has now time to be quite easy and natural. .*
The chief feature in most Prefaces is of an apologetical character. Some shortcomings have to be acknowledged, some oversights to be atoned for, or some mental deficiencies to be lamented. In fact, these effusions are indisputable memorials of that imperfection which appertains to all things human, and to literary labours among the rest.
I shall not attempt, on the present occasion, to deviate from the ordinary course. The main thing I have to say is, that the present volume owes its existence solely to my own humour and taste. The majority of the papers it contains have appeared in various periodicals: they have all been the result of hours of relaxation from graver and more severe studies. I have been led to imagine that in a collected form they may possibly afford some amusement-and, on some points, even instruction—to the general reader; and if they can in any measure effect either of these objects, I shall not think my time has been altogether thrown away in their editorship.