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The Select Extracts, of which a second and greatly enlarged edition is now offered to the public, are designed to serve as a higher Reading Book for the use of Schools. The selection has been limited to the works of authors distinguished for excellence of style, and an endeavour has been made, in each case, to give passages which exhibit his characteristic features, and the manner or manners in which he has best succeeded, and which entitle him to be regarded as an example of style, and as illustrating a period in the development of the English Language. The notices prefixed to each author are partly historical and partly critical It is hoped that while the comments on style will aid the young reader's judgment and taste, the biographical outlines will help him to recognise the relative position of each author to the others and to the general history of English Literature. With this view the Series has been chronologically arranged. It may be proper to add that the selections have been made, and the notices accompanying them written, by many different persons. Among these contributors are the Very Rev. A. P. Stanley, Dean of Westminster; the Rev. Canon Mozley, Regius Professor of Divinity; the Rev. Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College; Professor Goldwin Smith; the late Professor Conington ; Professor C. H. Pearson; Professor Nichol, and the Rev. G. D. Boyle. To these gentlemen and to others who have given valuable assistance the best thanks of the Editor are due.
E. E. S.