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THIS publication will not, I hope, be deemed superfluous. Its contents have, in great part, been collected and translated in France and Italy; in Germany many of the Discussions have been separately translated; and their general collection has once and again been recommended in the leading critical journals of America. In this country also a considerable number are comprised in the "Selections from the Edinburgh Review," by Mr. Crosse. M. Peisse, the learned French translator, has added to the articles, published by him under the name of "Fragmens de Philosophie," sundry important contributions of his own;—an Introduction, an Appendix, and Notes. Of the last especially I have frequently availed myself.
In reprinting these criticisms, I have made a few unimportant corrections; and some not unimportant additions—in length at least, for the new extends to above a half of the old. At the same time I was not averse from evincing, by the way, the punctual accuracy of certain statements, advanced in these criticisms, which had been variously and sometimes even vehemently assailed. In one instance, the counter criticism was indeed of such a character, and came from such a quarter, that I could not in propriety let it pass without a full and formal refutation.
In preparing an Appendix, supplementary of the previous discussions relative to the English Universities, I insensibly involved myself in a complication of details, which, after a fruitless and wholly unexpected expenditure of time, I found that leisure, and
strength, and patience all failed me either to disentangle or to complete; I was, therefore, in the end constrained to limit the consideration not only to Oxford exclusively, but exclusively to the education afforded in its fundamental faculty, that of Arts. And in reference even to this, had I anticipated the amount of tedious toil which the mere collecting and verifying of the facts would cost, I might have been disposed to avoid what, though to me a real labor, is so disproportioned to any apparent result.
Apart from the Appendices, the new matter, whether of text or notes, except where distinction was needless, is inclosed within square brackets.
EDINBURGH, March, 1852.
The Addenda and Corrigenda at the end of the English edition are, in the American republication, inserted in their proper places in the text.