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Dissertation on The Prymer.
LTHOUGH I do not propose to give in my present work any portion of the Breviaries of the Church of England, yet the Prymer
which I am now about to lay before the reader is so connected with them, in matter and arrangement (in one sense, indeed, a part of them), that it would seem I think an unpardonable omission to pass them by unnoticed. And, moreover, these volumes being intended to illustrate, so far as their limits will allow, the early and later Ritual and Offices of our Church, I feel for that reason bound to take this opportunity of giving a short account of the ancient divisions and offices of the ecclesiastical day, from which our modern Matins and Evensong have been derived.
The remarks which I have made in the preface to the Ancient Liturgies, upon the variety of Uses as regarded the missal, which formerly to a much greater extent than now, prevailed through the whole Western Church, are equally applicable to the breviary. That power which, as I have there said, was vested in each Bishop to provide as he himself, under certain conditions, thought best for the public worship of the churches of his diocese, would not have failed to have