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It was an attempt, under the guise of a Fairy-tale, to lead young minds to a more wholesome train of thought than is commonly found at the present day in popular juvenile literature. The Author's aim was to excite the sympathies of the young in behalf of others, and to set before them in its true colours the hideous sin of selfishness. And the book was put forth as an experiment, to ascertain whether the youth of the present generation had patience to glean the lessons which lurk beneath the surface of legendary tales, and the chronicles of the wild and supernatural; whether their hearts could be moved to noble and chivalrous feelings, and to shake off the hard, cold, calculating, worldly, selfish temper of the times, by being brought into more immediate contact with the ideal, the imaginary, and the romantic, than
has been the fashion of late years,—whether, in short, a race that has been glutted with Peter Parley, and Penny Magazines, and such like stories of (so called) useful knowledge, would condescend to read a Fable and its Moral, and learn wisdom from a tale of enchantment.
The early call for a Second Edition seems to show that the experiment was not made in vain, and at the request of the Publisher, the Author appends his name.
FRANCIS E. PAGET.