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PREFACE.

The originators of the CASQUET OF LITERATURE desired to produce a work which should be an interesting and suggestive anthology of poetry and fiction, chiefly of the nineteenth century. How far that desire has been carried into effect readers may form an idea by glancing at the Index of Authors, in which will be found the names of over three hundred and fifty contributors, distinguished in English, American, and Continental literature. The brief Notes attached to these names will perhaps recall to experienced readers many half-forgotten favourites, whilst they will introduce young readers to various writers whose compositions they might have otherwise missed. The Notes are intended simply to suggest the chief works of the authors, and to indicate the critical verdict pronounced upon them by critics whose judgment all must respect: so that the interest which it is hoped will be often excited by the extracts contained in the CASQUET, may readily find means of further satisfaction.

The task of preparing this selection from miscellaneous literature has been a delightful one; and the extreme favour with which the work has been received by the public affords to Publishers and Editor practical proof that their efforts have been appreciated. Most kind and encouraging approval has been expressed on all sides: but there is still much left undone; there are still many valued names in our own and foreign literature for which no place has been found here. It is therefore with peculiar pleasure that I find myself called upon to prepare a second series of the CASQUET OF LITERATURE, in two volumes: this will enable me to include selections from the works of many authors without which no literary anthology could be called complete. As they stand, however, it is surely not too much to hope that these four volumes may have some small influence in the important work of fostering the taste for those intellectual joys which are to be found in good books.

This page must not be closed without grateful acknowledgment of the courtesy of those authors and publishers who, cordially appreciating the nature of the CASQUET, placed their writings and copyrights at my disposal for quotation. The names of the authors will be found attached to the extracts; of the publishers, especial thanks are due to Messrs. Blackwood & Sons; Bentley & Son; Bradbury, Agnew, & Co.; Chapman & Hall ; Sampson Low, Marston, & Co.; Routledge & Sons; Strahan & Co.; and Tinsley Brothers.

CHARLES GIBBON.

LONDON, 1873.

CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

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