« PreviousContinue »
I gladly dedicate my little book to you, who first taught me to understand true and pure affectionyou first told me of His tender love, who hath called himself “Our Father," and I learned to compre. hend that love, because I felt that it resembled your own. When I think of you, Memory unlocks for me her cabinet of treasures, telling of a thousand dear associations, which even you may have forgotten, but which I can never forget. While I was yet a child, you proved to me the value of affection's slightest gift ;
for a look from you said more to my heart, than the sweetest words which other lips have spoken ; this trifling token then of my love and gratitude will possess all the value I would fain endue it with : and I know I need scarcely say to my dearest Mother, in thus offering to her my volume, “ May you like it."
I HAVE a vast deal to say for myself in this Preface ; and yet I am in the condi. tion of many an ignorant person, I don't very well know how to say it; but I will not take up much of those persons' time who read prefaces, I will merely tell them how the rest of the volume was chiefly written.- I was sitting one evening among a family party, most of whom think me rather a superior personage ; (not that I am.) The children were just gone to
bed : the tea-things had been removed : many fair fingers were plying their bright needles with delicate speed. I was alone idle, seeming to admire, with earnest attention, the slight firmness of an unfinished purse, intended for me; though, perhaps, I could not help looking more at the small fingers round which the silver and green silk were twined.--" Will
you read aloud to us this evening ?” asked one of my fair companions; but I took it into my head to say, that I would write for their amusement, and I wrote part of one of the Tales in this book, to my own surprise, for I never could relate a story : of course they all admired it, except one who was sleepy and went to bed when I was about to begin reading ; there were eyes, though, which looked applause not