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In bringing this little volume to the light, the writer has little apology to offer, further than that owing to having published a lesser work fully twenty years ago, he has often felt the truth of the opinion of some of his reviewers at that period, that he had gone before the world with his wares at a time of life which might be regarded as premature. For many years back he has desired to publish in a collective form a selection from the pieces composed from time to time within the last twenty years. In this he has been encouraged by many friends both at home and abroad; but while hopeful it may contribute to the enjoyment of such, he has no desire to avoid the fair and honest criticism of the press.
Had this work appeared two years ago, the writer would in its preparation have been assisted by his esteemed and intimate friend James Smith, whose lamented death took place last year. He has, however, been assisted by other friends whose services he values very highly; and to them and to all interested, he tenders his sincere thanks, cherishing as he does the hope that the collection as a whole will justify the lively interest they have taken in it.
R. S. WEST LINTON, 4th August, 1888,