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List of Pllustrations.

ARTISTS.

ENGRAVERS.

William Measom.

William Linton.

ORNAMENTAL TITLE

Kenny Meadowe.
PLOURE AND THE LEAFE (Four Drawings) Ditto.
MERLE AND NIGHTINGALE

James Ferguson.
SHAKSPEARE'S SONNETS

Ditto.

William Thomas.

Ditto.

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James Perguson. {Messrs, Dalziel
Kenny Meadows.

THE SCHOOLMISTRESS (Two Drawings)

and J. Knight.

CUMNOR HALL

William Measom.

TRUTI (Four Drawings)

Ditto.

Ditto.

RETIREMENT

James Ferguson.

Mason Jackson,

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William Measom.

Ditto.

CLIFTON GROVE (Three Drawings)

Ditto. PRISONER OP CHILLOX

Kenny Meadows. DITTO.

James Ferguson. THE ANCIENT MARINER (Seven Drawings) Kenny Meadows. THE RUIN AND ITS FLOWERS .

George Dodgson.

Ditto.

Ditto.

Mason Jackson.

PASSAGE OF TH

RED SEA.

Ditto.

William Measom.

GERTRUDE OF WYOMING (Seven Drawings) James Ferguson.

(W. Thomas and

F. Gyde. William Measom.

CASA WAPY

C. W. Cope.

RESIGNATION .

Ditto.

Messrs. Dalziel.

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INTRODUCTION.

E explore the tombs and temples of Egypt; we excavate

Nineveh, and interpret the rocky inscriptions of Syria and Persepolis; we dwell with conjectural wonder and delight on the mysterious remains of Hebrew lore; we ascend the stream of time to ancient Greece; we scan the early ages of Etruria, Latium, and Rome; we delve among the lava ashes of Pompeii and Herculaneum; we measure the enormous architecture of Palmyra and Baalbec; we trace the razed foundations of Carthage, and the desolation of Tyre; we expatiate on the Caucasus, and speculate on the Troad ; and into every dark and hidden thing of the antique world,—the cradle of the human race,--we earnestly desire to penetrate, and bring the buried treasures to the light of day. Nothing can satiate our longing; and China, or Phænicia, or Mexico, or Araby the blest, or Scandinavia the frozen North, wherever a vestige of creation and man is to be found, from the first movements in social existence, and through every phase of the earliest cultivation of intellect, there does the irresistible impulse of our nature prompt us to enthusiastic research and untiring labour !

It is the same inherent feeling, implanted within our inmost being by a beneficent Creator, which causes us to yearn, with a mother's fondness, over the whispered tones of pristine Song. How delicious are its broken accents, how exquisite its natural touches, how forcible its ruder notes, and how overwhelming its gushes of passion and divine inspiration ! Poetry is an everlasting and undying Music. Its effects are deeper and more permanent. It equally wafts the soul to Elysium,-and it keeps it there. Other transports of the senses pass away : their enjoy

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ment is indeed supreme, but it is evanescent, and fades upon the memory which would recall its sweets. Poetry, on the contrary, far transcends the ignorant, though pleasure-lapt present. Its essence is celestial, immortal, eternal as the firm basis of the earth on which it rests. Who can calculate its immeasurable greatness ? who can estimate its minute loveliness ? None ! Hence was its voice heard in the oracles of heavenly truth, and in the responses of Pagan idolatry. Hence have the scriptural grandeurs of prophetic Isaiah, the pathetic hymning of David, the swelling, triumphant strains of Solomon, the moral and descriptive wisdom of Job, come down to us in the thoughts that breathe and words that burn, of superhuman power; and hence have Pindar, Homer, and a long line of illustrious bards, glorified the art throughout the universe, in every tongue and to every people, as ministering to the noblest aspirations of mankind, improving the great globe itself, and exalting all which it inherit, till time shall be no more.

So vast is the poet's mission, so measureless the benefits he confers upon the world! There is no comprehension which can encircle his boundaries, or calculate the length and the breadth, the height and the depth, of his influence upon the destinies of his fellow-creatures throughout all succeeding generations.

Poetry has two great aspects—the one looking to the imagination, the other to the feelings. The first is a portion of the same fire which Prometheus brought from Heaven; the last pertains to the bountiful nursing which the Bona Dea Terra bestows upon all, but chiefly upon these her favoured children. Remembering that nothing has endured or can endure in Poetry, but what is elevating or comes home to the heart—that all that is base, foul, and corrupting, is transient, and sinks beyond the reach of transmission to posterity—it is evident that the entire system may be comprised within this simple division. The highest flights of inspiration, as well as the more common ideas which belong to life, must meet with an echo in the general breast, or they must perish like the comet's train or lightning flash, without affording light or heat for the good of mankind. The glorious interpreters of universal nature, and the generous lovers of their kind, only lead us to our welfare and happiness

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