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We have separated, perhaps, for ever! I have trimmed my little bark for a stormy ocean.
Clouds thicken, tempests threaten, but my anchor of Hope is safe. There are shoals, and there are quicksands without number around, but, with the compass of reflection, and the sounding-line of caution, we may arrive at the destined port.
In conclusion, my dear brother, receive my congratulations on that joyful event which has crowned your happiness; and happy in being able thus to evidence the sincerity of my affection,
I remain, with every sentiment of esteem,
For ever, your attached brother,
In compiling this Work, I am not unaware that there have been many publications of a similar nature; but I may be permitted to suggest the distinction, that whereas, former compilers have confined themselves chiefly to English sources (although they have been styled Laconics). I have taken a wider range, as the title-page announces ; have made excursions into the flower. gardens of almost every nation (not Bæotian,) and enriched my nosegay with some of the most beautiful and pleasant exotics. Delighting from an early age in flashes of wit, it has been my custom to note down, in the course of reading, whatever appeared striking by its liveliness, or standard by its orthodoxy. Insensibly my diary accumulated, and swelled to a volume, like those islands of the Mesachebe, which the deposits of ages have consolidated.
Although, as may appear from the first glance, the number of signatures are great, yet my chief object has ever been to select documents of intrinsic excellence. Hence, the opinions of one writer upon a variety of subjects, will often follow each other successively. They stand just as they were read, in a course of reading, fitful, mixed, and desultory. The reader will, therefore, not be surprised, after meditating on a pious remark of the illustrious Tillement, to stumble on a brilliant, but comparatively flimsy flash of Ovid or Voltaire. It was not deemed an object, more systematically to arrange the “ Gems of Genius,” convinced as I was, that as a nosegay of flowers derives its chief beauty from the random association of rose and jasmine, tulip and violet, dahlia and snow-drop, pink and marigold, so would these “ Gems” glow with additional lustre by the approximation of Bossuet and Bolingbroke, Ovid, and à Kempis, Livy, and Macheanelli, Lingard, and Hume.
For the «s diary of a young man”-it “ nominated in the bond” as my own.
With these preliminaries I submit the work to the man of sense and reflection. In reverence for the names that give legitimacy to its pages, it
may find a place on the table of the reflective, and in the pocket of the travelling student. It may be, as it were, a household oracle, which may be consulted for “ the diseases of the soul :". a hall of audience, where the great of all times congregate to enlighten with the coruscations of their genius, all that “ seek,” all that “ knock.”