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TO THE NEW
IN presenting to the public a new edition of this work, the publishers would call attention to the additions which they have made to it. When the first American edition was issued, nothing whatever was known of the author in this country; and the publishers were unable then to furnish any means of gratifying the natural desire on that point which was excited by the publication of this remarkable work, together with that of "The Priest and the Huguenot" which soon followed. Some time afterwards, a brief memoir of the author came into their hands, which, besides giving the leading facts of his life, presents a discriminating and polished criticism on his writings. This memoir has now been incorporated into the present edition. An elegant likeness of the author has also been added.
It may not be amiss here to quote from the London Athenæum a paragraph, which in few words very hap
pily characterizes the work itself. "It is," says that eminent authority, "a kind of treatise on pulpit eloquence and on the relations of the preaching office to modern society; and we do not recollect ever seeing a book containing more just observations on oratory in general, and more especially on sacred oratory. But it is much more than this. It is a really admirable historical novel of the time of Louis XIV.; and the story is told so well, and there are such vivid character painting and keen criticism of men and manners in it, that it might be questioned, after all, whether the original conception of the work was not rather historical than didactic."
It will be seen from the memoir, that this work is the first of "a series of studies on the eighteenth century" which the author had planned. The second of the series is entitled "The Priest and the Huguenot:" an edition of this also has been issued by the publishers, which will be found equally attractive, and equally worthy of public attention.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1855.