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It was his intention to have compressed all the citations into one volume; but on re-perusing Shakspeare with attention, he found the passages which demanded notice, either from their spirit or their notoriety, so much more numerous than he had anticipated, that an adherence to his original plan would have necessitated the omission of many quotations from other authors both too well-known and too pointed to admit of their being rejected. He has, therefore, divided the work into three parts—the first, which he has now the honour to submit to his readers, being entirely devoted to our “ immortal bard;" the second-which it is his intention to present to the public within a very short period—to consist of extracts in blank verse ; and the third in rhyme: each volume will thus be independent of the others, and the arrangement will, he trusts, be found equally convenient with that of a more miscellaneous
Without presuming to decide on the propriety of the plan adopted in other dictionaries, of placing the quotations alphabetically, according to their initial letters, which can only afford a reference to passages already known, it must be obvious that such a mode could be of but little service in a work, the object of which is to point out apposite illustrations of particular subjects, and thus to spare the reader the trouble of research into a variety of authors. It has, therefore, been deemed more advisable to place the extracts under the distinct heads to which they relate, thus exhibiting in one view the most pointed allusions in the different poets.
It will not fail to strike the general reader, that many quotations of great merit have not found a place in this collection : on this the compiler must observe, that the extracts are as numerous as the compendious form to which it was deemed proper to confine the volumes would permit; but if his judgment in the selection be arraigned, he can only plead the licence that is necessarily allowed to the taste of every individual, and hope that by some at least, this plea will be admitted.
London, November, 1823.
100, 1. 6, dele final e.
DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS.