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lar Fictions should be treated. The manner being therefore somewhat desultory, and the matter various, I would advise those who read for mere amusement to begin at the second and to skip over the eighth chapter. They cannot then com
plain of my having deceived them. • Be the reception of this volume what it may,
I think I can assure my readers that it is the last time we shall meet upon this ground. I have here, and in the Fairy Mythology, contributed my full quota on the subjects of popular fiction and superstition; the days when inquiries respecting them could attract the general ear are departed, perhaps never to return, and graver studies now demand my attention. I have, I believe, made some few discoveries; and my name may, possibly, be mentioned by future critics and commentators. Small, however, in any case, is the portion of fame to which I can aspire.
Nothing to me is more delightful than the acknowledgement of favours and kindness. In the preface to my Fairy Mythology, I had to regret my total want of acquaintance with the learned and the ingenious. My case is widely different now, and I could produce a very creditable list of literary friends. Of these I will venture to mention
two, namely, Francis Douce, Esq. and Sir Frederick Madden, as, from them I have received most valuable aid. To enjoy the advantage of Mr. Douce's conversation, to be permitted to draw ad libitum on his stores of knowledge, and to have the command of his noble library, are privileges of no common order.
Nor must I, while speaking of friends and obligations, omit my excellent friend and countryman, W. H. Brooke, Esq., whose elegant and fanciful designs, exhibited to such advantage as they are by the admirable wood-engraving of Mr. Baxter, will, I am inclined to think, form the greatest attraction of my volume. Specimens of art to equal these are not of common occurrence; and I must particularly call attention to the beautiful manner in which Mr. Baxter has printed them. It will give me much and sincere pleasure to see the fame of both artist and engraver widely diffused.
N.B. The References are to the Pages from which the Subjects are taken.
Page. I. Combat of Soohrab and Gurd-afreed ...... 142 II. Bedoweens round a Story-teller ............ 34 III. Cleomades and Claremond carried off on
the Enchanted Horse .......... IV. Serena taking the Green Bird ..............
V. Death of Soohrab ...... VI. The Serpent embracing the Princess Grannonia
............. 190 VII. The Tailorling seeing the Giant ............ VIII. Ansaldo's Cats at the Court of Canary...... 255 IX. Descent of the Valkyrias ..................... 275 X. The Princess Vastolla enclosed in the Cask . 311