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THESE sketches were written a number of years ago for the American magazine the Century, but the publication of them was long delayed, and it was found in the end that their length was too great to be consistent with the amount of illustrations, which are a great feature of that magazine. In these circumstances literature had to give way to art, and the papers were 'cut' as remorselessly, but much more cleverly, than Mr. Puff's play, the thread of the narratives being skilfully retained, while all that an author prizes in the superfluous way of literary style or ornament was cleared away. In this succinct and concentrated form the Sketches of the Reign of Queen Anne have been reproduced in America in a handsome volume, which, were they important enough to tempt any critic, it might be amusing to compare with this present English edition, which contains the chapters as they were written, untouched by the stern scissors of a transatlantic Fate—who perhaps might be found to be a deity benevolent to the reader, and not, except to the author, the blind Fury with the abhorred shears.