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PREFACE.

may be said to come fairly under its influence, and to receive a sort of consecration from its touch.

In these circumstances no apology is necessary, surely, for the issuing of such a volume as the present one. It presents the reader with carefully selected passages from a large number of authors, some of them, it may be, (from the paucity of their works, or other circumstances,) comparatively obscure, but the overwhelming majority those whose names have long been household words in every part of the Empire—or rather, perhaps, of the civilized world. These are copiously illustrated by appropriate Engravings on steel, in the highest style of art-a feature which cannot fail to be interesting in itself, as well as fitted to add liveliness and attraction to the poems which they illustrate.

It will be noticed that while cach Plate is specially connected with the poem which immediately follows it, it is more or less closely related to all the passages given till the next Plate occurs —these being of a cognate character.

It remains only to add that several of these poems are copyright, and that it is to the kindness of the proprietors that their appearance here is due.

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BRUE Poetry is soothing or stimulating (always influential

some way), according to the nature of the theme with

which it deals; and nothing more than this is necessary y to commend it to the human heart, or to account for the fascination which it exercises upon almost every variety of the human race. No doubt a certain amount of culture is needed, in order to the appreciation of its more subtle and delicate meanings; but even where such previous culture is wanting, it will not be without a healthful and invigorating influence, in a general way; while the very habit of perusing it will so quicken the sensibilities, that the want will gradually come to be comparatively little felt. Its themes, too, are as numerous and diversified as are human feelings, interests, and wants. It passes round the whole circle of nature and life, and draws forth responses, sympathetic and thrilling, in connection with everything that is most vital in relation to man. Among its chosen subjects are the beauties of nature, the strength and sanctity of love or friendship, natural affection in its varied forms, the manifold relations subsisting between the moral and the material universe,

“ All thoughts, all feelings, all desires,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,"

PREFACE.

may be said to come fairly under its influence, and to receive a sort of consecration from its touch.

In these circumstances no apology is necessary, surely, for the issuing of such a volume as the present one. It presents the reader with carefully selected passages from a large number of authors, some of them, it may be, (from the paucity of their works, or other circumstances,) comparatively obscure, but the overwhelming majority those whose names have long been household words in every part of the Empire—or rather, perhaps, of the civilized world. These are copiously illustrated by appropriate Engravings on steel, in the highest style of art-a feature which cannot fail to be interesting in itself, as well as fitted to add liveliness and attraction to the poems which they illustrate.

It will be noticed that while each Plate is specially connected with the poem which immediately follows it, it is more or less closely related to all the passages given till the next Plate occurs —these being of a cognate character.

It remains only to add that several of these poems are copyright, and that it is to the kindness of the proprietors that their appearance here is due.

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