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LITERARY GEMS.

IN TWO PARTS.

"From grave to gay, from lively to severe."

EDINBURGH:

PRINTED FOR HURST, ROBINSON, & CO. 5, WATERLOO
PLACE, PALL-MALL, LONDON; AND M'LACHLAN &
STEWART, EDINBURGH.

1826.

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PREFACE.

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HAVING as little inclination to write a long preface as the public could possibly have to read one, I shall content myself with stating briefly why, in the compilation of this volume, I have been induced to add one to the numerous publications of a similar nature already in existence. These, notwithstanding the talents and taste impressed into their service, and although they contain no small variety of what is interesting or amusing in subject, and excellent in composition, are nevertheless burthened 'with much of what is inferior in both respects, with pieces at best but of equivocal merit, and entirely confined to what Mr. M'Diarmid in his excellent" SCRAP BOOK" terms " the floating literature of the day,"-frequently showy in words, but barren in the primary attribute of eloquence-IDEAS! and like an effervescing draught, becoming stale, and palling upon the appetite, almost as soon as tasted.

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i Finding this opinion corroborated by that of other indi viduals far more competent than myself, I have, in proceeding upon a different, I would fain hope a more discriminat ing principle of compilation, endeavoured to supply what may perhaps be considered a desideratum among works of this kind; and without confining myself to the literature of

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