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IN submitting the pages that follow to the judgment of the public, I feel that I am bound to preface them with a few words of apology, both for themselves and for the period of their appearance.

They have taken much longer in the writing than would appear at first sight. A practised writer could probably have completed them in a week or ten days. I could under no circumstances have done that; but had there been nothing to hinder, I could, no doubt, have finished them much more quickly than I have done. But a malady which has been upon me for a long time has at length so affected my hand as to make writing always a difficulty, sometimes an impossibility; and I have been

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