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EXPLAINED, AND ILLUSTRATED.
WALTER K. KELLY.
"Even the best proverb, though often the expression of the widest experience
W. KENT & CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.
ENGLISH literature, in most departments the richest in Europe, is yet the only one in which there has hitherto existed no comprehensive collection of proverbs adapted to general use. To supply this deficiency is the object of the present attempt.
Dean Trench, m the preface to his "Proverbs and their Lessons," adverts to "the immense number and variety of books bearing on the subject;" but adds, that among them all he knows not one which appears to him quite suitable for all readers. "Either," he says, "they include matter which cannot fitly be placed before all-or they address themselves to the scholar alone; or, if not so, are at any rate inaccessible to the mere English reader-or they contain bare lists of proverbs, with no endeavour to compare, illustrate, or explain them—or, if they do seek to explain, they yet do it without attempting to sound the depths or measure the real significance of that which they attempt to unfold."
My own experience in this department of literature is entirely in accordance with these views. I have, therefore, during the preparation of the following pages, kept constantly before my mind the Dean of Westminster's precise statement of things to be done, and things to be avoided.
British proverbs for the most part form the basis of this collection. They are arranged according to their import and affinity, and under each of them are grouped translations of their principal equivalents in other languages, the originals being generally appended in footnotes. By this means are formed natural families of proverbs, the several members of which acquire increased