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some for colloquial use; some for the newspaper, others for private correspondence. While certain lines, again, and those not the least pointed, seem never so solemnly impressive as when they are not recited aloud, so much as murmured half inaudibly to one's self, and the taste of the finely-worded truth rolled upon the tongue as its thought is revolved in the mind.
Indeed a good quotation hardly ever comes amiss. It is a pleasing break in the thread of a speech or writing, allowing the speaker or writer to retire for an instant while another and a greater makes himself heard. And this calling-up of the deathless dead implies also a community of mind with them, which the reader will not grudge the author lest he should seem to deny it to himself.1
In literary composition a well-chosen quotation lights up the page like a fine engraving; and, in the phrase of Addison,2 "adds a supernumerary beauty to a paper, the reader often finding his imagination entertained by a hint that awakens in his memory some beautiful passage of a Classick author." And this, among other benefits, is the advantage of references. A line is met with. Whose is it? Where is it? The reference supplies the information. The volume of the author is taken down, the place found, and the line and context studied together. A man renews his youth in this way as he lingers, not perhaps without emotion, over the once familiar lines with all their varied associations in the past, and, having once dipped into the book, may be tempted to do so again.
Having noted what appear to be the chief faults in previous collections, I should like to point out what seem to be the main defects of the present volume. In the first place it has too much Latin, while, on the other hand, modern languages are not sufficiently represented. Of Portuguese, for instance, there is, as analysts would say, a "trace;" of Spanish hardly more. The Italian quotations are meagre, and the same might be said of those in Greek. The German examples might with advantage be extended, and more space devoted to terms and phrases in use amongst us from the French. It should, however, be said in justice to the book, that the relative proportions of the various languages represented are pretty much in the ratio of their actual frequency as quotations occurring in English literature. practice, Latin is quoted nearly twice as often as French; French
1 Wilkes censuring quotation as pedantry, Johnson replied, "No, sir, it is a good thing: there is a community of mind in it. Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world."-Croker's Boswell, 687.*
2 Spectator 221.
nearly twice as frequently as German; while the current sayings in Greek might almost be counted on the fingers of one hand. With regard also to the translations, I could have wished to see the work better turned out, particularly in the case of those poetical versions for which I am personally responsible. Distance from books, or an inability to find in other translations the rendering required, have compelled me in many cases to be my own poet. How feeble and wooden is the result no one can be more sensible than myself, but I felt that even a poor metrical translation of a metrical original was better than none. There is a point and antithesis in verse, giving flow and feeling to the thought of the author which falls exceedingly flat if left in prose.
I have to acknowledge with grateful thanks the permission kindly given by the proprietors of the copyright of the late Professor Conington's Eneid and Horace to make use of his admirable translations under certain fixed conditions. I have also to thank Mr W. F. Shaw, late Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, for placing his translations from Catullus, Martial, Juvenal, and Persius at my service; Mr Ferdinand Sohn, of the Libreria Spithöver, Rome, and Miss S. Benett, for much assistance in the German quotations; and a host of other friends who have in various ways helped in the production of the volume, but who do not wish their names to be mentioned. F. K.
Rome, May 1886.
* CORRECTION OF INACCURACIES.
With the object of making the collection more perfect as a work of reference, I venture to appeal to all who may make use of the volume to have the kindness to point out any inaccuracies which they may detect, and particularly
1. To call attention to faulty Quotation, or Reference, or both. 2. To supply Author and Reference where a query (?) shows that one or both of these particulars are unknown.
3. To point out faulty Translation, or Application and missing of the point generally.
4. To suggest any further quotations which it is desirable to include in the collection, as also the omission of such as seem unsuitable.