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The fourth edition of “ Familiar Quotations" was published in 1863. The present edition embodies the results of the later researches of its editors, besides the contributions of various friends, and includes many quotations which have long been waiting a favorable verdict on the all-important question of familiarity. A few changes have been made in the arrangement, and the citations from Shakespeare have been adapted to the principal modern editions.
The former edition has been freshly compared with the originals, and such errors removed as the revision has disclosed. The
editorial labors have been shared with REZIN
A. Wight, Esq., of New York, who has been a generous contributor to the former editions.
The editor takes pleasure in acknowledging his renewed obligations to PROF. HENRY W.
TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
The favor shown to former editions has encouraged the compiler of this Collection to go on with the work and make it more worthy.
It is not easy to determine in all cases the degree of familiarity that may belong to phrases and sentences which present themselves for admission; for what is familiar to one class of readers may be quite new to another.
Many maxims of the most famous writers of our language, and numberless curious and happy turns from orators and poets, have knocked at the door, and it was hard to deny them. But to admit these simply on their own merits, without assurance that the general reader would readily recognize them as old friends, was aside from the purpose of this Collection.
Still, it has been thought better to incur the risk of erring on the side of fulness.
Owing to the great number of Quotations added in this edition, it has been necessary to make an entire reconstruction of the book.
It is hoped the lovers of this agreeable subsidiary literature may find an increased usefulness in the Collection corresponding with its present enlargement.
CAMBRIDGE, December, 1863.