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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

THE kind and most cordial greeting which this work has received from the public, and by which a very large impression has been speedily exhausted, demands a prompt and grateful acknowledgement. After all, the highest gratification which an author can derive from his writings, next to the persuasion that he has effected some good to his fellow-creatures, is felt in the generous echo of his own sentiments, which reaches him from the amiable and intelligent of his countrymen and countrywomen, on all sides and of every class, and in the nearer sympathy and communication into which he is brought with such minds. With respect to the opinions of the Press, there is one fact connected with this work which I state with peculiar gratification, because it does honour to human nature,-and that is, that the very warmest approbation has been, in the greater number of instances, bestowed upon it by those critics to whom the author is most decidedly opposed in political opinion. I cannot, either, refrain from observing, that though I did hope to find a quick response in the hearts of Englishmen on a subject in which both the author and his countrymen are alike so deeply interested, I could not anticipate the delight which Americans have manifested in it; and I must take this opportunity, as it is the only one

afforded me, to express my sense of the interesting letter of "An American Lady-a stranger in this country," with a copy of Bryant's Poems.

Many evidences of the interest felt in this work by my English readers, known and unknown, and of the benefit thence derived to the work by most valuable corrections and novel information, will become apparent in the progress of perusal.

I have only to add, chiefly from the preface to the former edition, that my object in this volume has been to present to the reader a view of the Rural Life of England at the present period, as seen in all classes and all parts of the country. For this purpose I have not merely depended upon my acquaintance with rural life, which has been that of a great portion of my own life from boyhood, but I have literally travelled, and a great deal of it on foot, from the Land's-End to the Tweed, penetrating into the retirements, and witnessing the domestic life of the country in primitive seclusions and under rustic roofs. If the mountains and valleys, the fair plains and sea-coasts, the halls and farmhouses, the granges, and cottages of shepherds, miners, peasants, or fishermen, be visited in this volume with a tenth part of the enjoyment with which I have visited them in their reality, it must be a delightful book indeed; for no moments of my existence have been more deliciously spent, than those in which I have wandered from spot to spot of this happy and beautiful island, surveying its ancient monuments, and its present living men and manners.

West-end Cottage, Esher, Surrey,
April 16th, 1840.

W. H.

Planting: Its Pleasures-Vast Effect of the Writings of Evelyn in Eng-

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