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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC L LRARY

888506A ASTOR, LEMOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

R 1937

P R E F A C E.

L

ANGUAGE; being perpetually

in use, is not easily preserved from corruption. Violent and gross injuries, indeed, such as proceed from the attacks of vulgar or provincial barbarism, are readily perceived and repelled; but there are enemies which act against it more secretly, and therefore more irresistibly. The arbitrary caprice of fashion, and the spirit of improvement misdirected, are daily making changes in the structure and found of language ; which, though separately inconsiderable, are after some time important in the total amount: and as the celestial signs had nearly changed their places before the flow but constant motion of the equinoxes was detected, so a language may have departed con,

siderably

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