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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
FROM THE LIBRARY OF MRS. ELLEN HAVEN ROSS JUNE 28, 1938
RALLANTYNE AND COMPANY, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.
THE intention of the Editor of this volume has been to unite in a compendious form the most brilliant and instructive sentences in the writings of Sydney Smith. These extracts are purposely separated as much as possible from the context and connection in which they originally stood; and each passage is limited to the smallest compass which could convey with accuracy the detached thoughts of the writer. In this volume the gems are displayed without their setting-the pearls are unstrung. It has frequently been remarked that wit and knowledge strike more forcibly upon the mind, and cling more faithfully to the memory, when they are reduced to the form of maxims or aphorisms; and if this be true in general it is true more especially of writings like those of Sydney Smith, which were for the most part devoted to critical and polemical objects that have already lost much of their interest, by the very success of the warfare he waged against