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speaking sourly or querulously of the slight mark,
made by his earlier literary efforts, on the Public
at large. It is so far the contrary, that he has
been moved to write this Preface, chiefly as afford-
ing him an opportunity to express how much en-
joyment he has owed to these volumes, both before
and since their publication. They are the memo-
rials of very tranquil and not unhappy years.
They failed, it is true - nor could it have been
otherwise — in winning an extensive popularity.
Occasionally, however, when he deemed them en-
tirely forgotten, a paragraph or an article from a
native or foreign critic, would gratify his instincts
of authorship with unexpected praise,
erous praise, indeed, and too little alloyed with
censure, which, therefore, he learned the better to
inflict upon himself. And, by the by, it is a very
suspicious symptom of a deficiency of the popular
element in a book, when it calls forth no harsh
criticism. This has been particularly the fortune
of the TWICE-TOLD Tales. They made no ene-
mies, and were so little known and talked about,
that those who read, and chanced to like them,
were apt to conceive the sort of kindness for the
book, which a person naturally feels for a discov-
ery of his own.

This kindly feeling in some cases, at least) extended to the Author who, on the internal evidence of his sketches, came to be regarded as a

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mild, shy, gentle, melancholic, exceedingly Sensi tive, and not very forcible man, hiding his blushes under an assumed name, the quaintness of which was supposed, somehow or other, to symbolize his personal and literary traits. He is by no means certain, that some of his subsequent productions have not been influenced and modified by a natural desire to fill up so amiable an outline, and to act in consonance with the character assigned to him; nor, even now, could he forfeit it without a few tears of tender sensibility. To conclude, however, — these volumes have opened the way to most agreeable associations, and to the formation of imperishable friendships; and there are many golden threads, interwoven with his present happiness, which he can follow up more or less directly, until he finds their commencement here, so that his pleasant pathway among realities seems to proceed out of the Dreamland of his youth, and to be bordered with just enough of its shadowy foliage to shelter him from the heat of the day. He is therefore satisfied with what the TWICETOLD Tales have done for him, and feels it to be far better than fame.

LENOx, January 11, 1851.

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