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The author of this volume does not apprehend, that, among the objections which may be brought against it by those redoubtable personages, the critics, its brevity will be included. A word of explanation, however, may be necessary to account for its somewhat attenuated dimensions. It was not until the greater part of the work had been put to press, that the author found he had fettered himself by the title of his volume within a very limited range of selection from his miscellaneous prose productions. “ Hits at the Times” was not a designation sufficiently comprehensive to embrace sketches of an opposite character, which were far more abundant, and would have swollen the volume to an ambitious size. In one instance only, has there been a departure from the plan; and for that, the solicitation of many friends, must be the plea and the extenuation.
With this brief preface, these gathered fragments, which separately have been received with general favour at the hands of the public, are submitted, in the hope that they will meet with indulgence in their present form.