FIVE and twenty years ago I began to make a collection of Quotations and parallel passages, with the chapter and verse, and line whence taken, and the result of my labours was published in 1854. In February, 1863, the second edition was issued, in January, 1866, a third was published, a fourth followed, and now a sixth is called for. One of the objects of a book of this description (and an important one also) is to discover the author of the idea, image, or phrase which has become familiar to us, and with that in my mind I have given numerous parallel passages from the translations of the Latin and Greek classics, and my readers will see how great a share the ancients had in the authorship of the quotations now in daily use.
The late Mr. DIsraeli says one of the most elegant of literary recreations is that of tracing poetical or prose imitations and similitudes; and there are few men of letters who have not been in the habit of marking parallel passages, or tracing imitation in the thousand shapes it assumes.--(Curiosities of Lit., vol. 2.)
The reference to the chapter, act, scene, book, and number of the line of each quotation, was given in Murrays Handbook of Familiar Quotations, and in Mr. Gents Book of Familiar Quotations, and in my own, all which were contemporaneously issued in the early part of the year 1854; and to us credit is due for that improvement. The present volume contains upwards of six thousand four hundred quotations and parallel passages.
The additions to the present issue are from the Holy Scriptures, Heber, Washbourne, Fuller, Swift, Sydney Smith, Landells, Parker, the Fletchers, De Foe, Southey, Selden, Tennyson, Longfellow, Stowell, De Quincey, Webster, Mason, Lyly, Gascoigne, P. Sidney, Oldham, Puttenham, and Earle.