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PASSAGES OF THE BIBLE

PASSAGES OF

THE BIBLE

CHOSEN FOR THEIR LITER-

ARY BEAUTY AND INTEREST

BY J. G. FRAZER, M.A.

FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE

CAMBRIDGE

ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK

LONDON : MDCCCXCV

9-20.48

PREFACE

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HAT our English version of the Bible

is one of the greatest classics in the language is admitted by all in theory, but few people appear to treat it as such in practice. The common man

reads it for guidance and comfort in daily life and in sorrow: the scholar analyses it into its component parts, and discusses their authorship and date; and the historian, the antiquary, and the anthropologist have recourse to it as a storehouse of facts illustrative of their special subjects. But how many read it, not for its religious, its linguistic, its historical and antiquarian interest, but simply for the sake of the enjoyment which as pure literature it is fitted to afford ? It may be conjectured that the number of such readers is very small. The reason, or, at all events, a chief reason, of this is not far to seek. The passages of greatest literary beauty and interest—those on which the fame of the book as a classic chiefly rests-are scattered up and down it, imbedded, often at rare intervals, in a great mass of other matter, which,

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