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THE volume of Select Extracts which is now offered to the Public is designed to serve as a higher Reading Book for the use of Schools. The selection has been limited to the works of authors distinguished for excellence of style, and an endeavour has been made, in the case of each author, to give passages which exhibit his most characteristic features, and the manner or manners in which he has best succeeded, and which entitle him to be regarded as a model of style. The brief notices prefixed to each author are partly historical and partly critical. It is hoped that while the comments on style will aid the young reader's judgment and taste, the biographical outlines will help him to recognise the relative position of each author to the others and to the general history of English Literature. With this view the Series has been chronologically arranged. It may be proper to add that the selections have been made, and the notices accompanying them written, by many different persons, for whose invaluable assistance the best thanks of the Editor are due.