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This little volume has arisen out of a collection of extracts made by the compiler, in the course of her reading, for her own pleasure and advantage. It was suggested to her that the subject with which the extracts dealt-that of This Life and the Next-was of universal interest, and that the passages which had attracted her would, if brought together, be acceptable to many other readers.
It is in the hope that this may prove to be so that this selection from a collection has been undertaken. There is no pretension to comprehensiveness or completeness—practically unobtainable within a reasonable space. What the compiler has sought to do has been to select for the present purpose the utterances of men and women, of different climes and times, who may be regarded as representative of various classes, temperaments, and tendencies.
The extracts have been made, for the most part, less often from formal publications than from autobiographies, letters, and journals—in the belief that the writers have given expression to their impressions and reflections more fully and freely in the latter than in the former.
Where possible, the quotations have been carefully
dated, in order that they may illustrate, as occasion serves, the changes in, or confirmation of, opinion effected by time. It has especially been sought to record, where obtainable, the writers' latest comments upon Life as they had known it and Death as it
presented itself to their imagination.
A few of the passages here printed have not till now appeared in volume form.
Scott, Sir W.