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tice to himself, the editor must add that the final choice of the particular material selected has not always been decided by his preference, and is not always in entire accord with his judg. ment; in a few cases it was found necessary to leave the selection to be determined by the wishes of the respective authors or of their publishers.
A well-founded, undeniable grievance, the grounds for which can be clearly set forth, is so comfortable a luxury, that there is a strong temptation to dwell upon a few of the special difficulties which have perplexed the compiler of these volumes. But, Cui bono? If the work is dull, apologies are quite useless; if it is not dull, they are uncalled for.
Cordial thanks are due to the many living writers whose work is here represented. It is pleasant to be able to say that, in a correspondence with more than fifty literary workers, not a letter has been received which was not gracious in spirit and courteous in expression. The editor would express his deep sense of obligation for kindnesses which he had no right to expect. He would also acknowledge his large indebtedness to Mr. Geo. Haven Putnam, whose skilful aid removed some unexpected and embarrassing obstacles, and whose wise counsel justly entitles him to be considered a co-editor of this work.
The larger part of the material has been taken from copyrighted books, and could not have been used without the consent of the copyright owners and the publishers. This consent was freely given, and is thankfully acknowledged. The publishing firms to whose courtesy the editor is indebted for permission to use selections from works owned or published by them are : Messrs. D. Appleton & Co.; G. W. Carleton & Co.; Cassell & Co.; The Century Co.; Estes & Lauriat; Fords, Howard, & Hurlbut; Harper & Brothers; Henry Holt & Co.; Houghton, MifAlin, & Co.; Lee & Shepard; Mitchell & Miller; the editor of Outing; T. B. Peterson & Brothers; Roberts Brothers; Charles Scribner's Sons; and Ticknor & Co.
E. T. M.