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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
practically useful in the way of reference than the old. Its greater precision and conciseness must be its chief recommendation. A large number of new Index words have been added, and a further improvement made by printing names of Peers, Places, Institutions, etc., in italic.
The Quotation Index has also been considerably enlarged, to the extent of giving not only detached portions of quotations, but even misquotations, and imperfectly remembered fragments of celebrated passages. For example, the Non ignara mali of Virgil will be found indexed under the incorrect Haud ignara mali ; and the Hoc volo, sic jubeo of Juvenal is referred to under the Sic volo, sic jubeo as frequently quoted. In such cases of this kind as appeared in the former edition, some critics were remarkably severe upon the book, charging it with fatuity and perverseness, not to speak of other accusations. But the reason is obvious enough. One has to consider not only the man of exact memory, but the man whose memory is the reverse of exact. The former will find the quotation at once in its regular shape; the latter, after finding in the Index the incorrect form in which he has commonly heard the line cited.
The total of quotations of all kinds contained in the volume is, it should be premised, greatly in excess of the apparent number (5362), and amounts altogether to nearly six thousand two hundred citations of one kind or another, exclusive of quotations from English authors. Thirty passages, for example, are given under number 3114, and twenty-six under 506.
In the work of revision I have been much helped by the friends and correspondents who have kindly responded to my appeal for corrections. Amongst these are Mr H. E. Goldschmidt, Blairlodge,
Düsseldorf, Germany; Mr A. W. Hutton, Librarian of the National Liberal Club; Mr M. Brisbane, Surgeon, of St Arnaud, Victoria, Australia ; Mr S. B. Merriman, Mr W. F. Shaw, Mr R. M. King, Mr W. E. King, Mrs H. V. Bacon, Madame Gaffney, Miss S. Benett, and Miss Sybil B. Smith, to all of whom I desire to express my most sincere thanks.
As this is a book of quotations, I may be allowed to begin at once by citing a remark of Professor Skeat, which seems peculiarly pertinent to the matter in hand. He says (Notes and Queries, 6th ser., vol. ix., p. 499), “I protest, for about the hundredth time, against the slipshod method of quoting a mere author's name, without any indication of the work of that author in which the alleged quotation may be found. Let us have accurate quotations and exact references, wherever such are to be found. A quotation without a reference is like a geological specimen of unknown locality."
An admirable sentiment, which every one who has to do with quotations will readily applaud, and which may serve here to express the scope and character of the following compilation in its main features. My aim has been (1.) to give the quotations in their original form ; (2.) to add, wherever possible, an accurate reference to the author and work from which the quotation is taken.
That the attempt has proved far from being universally successful will be apparent, even upon a cursory examination of the volume. After deducting mottoes, proverbs, and such like, as have no special parentage, there remains a large number of quotations which are inserted without reference, either from want of time to consult the originals in every case, or through inability to discover the proper source. In many instances, also, I have been obliged to rely on second-hand authorities, so that it is likely errors, both in text and authorship, may be discovered. When, however, the number of quotations included in the work is taken into account (many of them having never before appeared in any collection of the kind), it will not be a matter of surprise that some failure in this respect should have attended the endeavour; the endeavour being, after all, the thing that I lay claim to rather
1 In all such cases a ? will be found following the quotation, inviting the reader to supply the desired information. See “ Correction of Inaccuracies," p. viii.
than the results. But as regards the majority of the quotations, the original has been consulted, the words verified, and author, work, and passage noted and particularised.
Natural and essential as one would imagine such details to be to any collection of quotations, it does not appear to have entered into the plan of any previous compilers, so that the idea has almost the merit of originality. Taking the various works of the kind that have appeared since Mr Macdonnel's Dictionary of 1796, I have not found any editor deigning to furnish his book with these necessary particulars, which assuredly constitute its chief value as an authoritative book of reference. Each compiler follows in the track of his predecessors in the field, and, for the most part, becomes only the too faithful copyist of his predecessors' inaccuracies.
As a result, we have a work which cannot be relied on. Two chief uncertainties, at least, will attach themselves to careless quotings of this description. In the first place, it is doubtful whether the passage be really the author's to whom it is ascribed; and next, it is almost even chances that the words given are not the exact words of the original. Such a sentence may be in Cicero, but it may also be in Quintilian; such a line may be Corneille's, but there is nothing to show that it was not written by Scudéry. And all this, because pains have not been taken to go to the author and verify the passage. Not that the labour involved in such an investigation is small, far from it. Oh! the tediousness of hunting for a quotation from Statius through nineteen books of Sylvæ, Thebaid, and Achilleid! Or to be sent to Lucan in search of a line, which, one ought to have known, is not Lucan, but Lucretius! One is rewarded in a sort of way, and perhaps as much by despoiling the alleged author of what is not his, as by discovering its legitimate parentage.
But the error of author's name is slight and venial compared with the more serious fault of altering the words of the text. It may seem a small matter to substitute putat for Cicero's existimat,
1 This applies, of course, only to English publications. In the Geflügelte Wörte of George Büchmann, and in Ed. Fournier's L'Esprit des autres, every pain has been taken to trace quotations to their original source, and no one can be more severe than M. Fournier on loose and inaccurate citation.
I take this oppor: tunity to state my indebtedness to both these writers, not only for many new and valuable quotations, but for quotations racontées, i.e., given with the curious and amusing particulars which in many instances attach to them.
2 Expertus disces quam gravis iste labor.-Forcellini, Dict. Lat. Præf.
3 Second rate and post-Augustan authors are by no means to be despised as far as quotations go. What could be better, e.g., than Statius (Theb. 2, 489), O cæca, nocentum consilia! O semper timidum scelus/ or the Grave pondus illum magna nobilitas premit of Seneca (Troad. 491) 2