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"The following monologues were given as public addresses, mostly to semi-academical audiences, and no alteration has been made in their form. Their common object has been to plead the cause of literary study at a time when that study is being depreciated and discouraged. But along with the general plea must go some indication that literature can be studied as well as read. Hence some of the articles attempt-what must always be a difficult task-the crystallizing of the salient principles of literary judgment. "