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At the close of the last chapter, I have specified the objects and aims which I have sought in the following volume. Although, formally, in many parts fictitious, the quality by which I hope it will be found peculiarly distinguished, is—fearless truthfulness; and being a book of this pretension, I anticipate not a little criticism, and, perhaps, detraction or abuse. Every “man," however, worthy of that name, and whose “history” deserves to be written, learns, in the course of his experience, to rate these things at their true value; and so, I trust, has the author of these pages. As the history, however, of an enthusiastic votary of literature, and as replete with sketches of and conversations with literary men of eminence, it will, I believe, be found interesting to one class; as containing many pictures of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland, to another; as filled with little incidents, and, here and there, with fresh characters, to another; as casting some light upon two different modes of intellectual and moral life-the literary and the clerical—and forming a vade mecum to young aspirants


in both, to another; as a record of spiritual struggle, and, in some measure, of spiritual victory, to another; and as pointing, ever and anon, to the cheering rays of the

Coming Glory” of the Church of Christ, to another. Whether the writer has been able to interpose, by means of the interest of his own personal story, or by the idiosyncrasy of his own style, a thread of unity through these various materials,—is a different question, and one about which, sooth to say, he is considerably careless. In writing it, and especially the latter portion of it, he had higher objects in view than to manifest either the skill of the artist or the power of the poet.


B. E.

March 5, 1856.

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