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CHANCE led me to write this work; and to print, or not to print,' in days like these, was a question I debated for some time. The die is now cast,--the work is lying before me in sheets; and as I look at them, I cannot refrain from passing mentally in review the various divisions of my future readers.
First then, in fancy, I behold a band of youthful students, aged ten years and upwards, eager to gaze on pretty wood-cuts, to learn how Prince Cleomades carried off the Princess Claremond, and to fathom the mysteries of the Giant-killer, and of Whittington's Cat. My eye next rests on a train of fair and accomplished ladies, whose studies go beyond the mere novel, and who have a taste for the light kind of philosophy here to be found. I lastly view grave philosophers and men of learning, who know that even here there is
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.
London, January 1st, 1834.
N.B. The References are to the Pages from which the Subjects are taken.
I. Combat of Soohrâb and Gurd-afreed
II. Bedoweens round a Story-teller
III. Cleomades and Claremond carried off on
the Enchanted Horse
IV. Serena taking the Green Bird ...... ..... 106 V. Death of Soohrab
160 VI. The Serpent embracing the Princess Grannonia
VII. The Tailorling seeing the Giant
209 VIII. Ansaldo's Cats at the Court of Canary...... 255 IX. Descent of the Valkyrias
X. The Princess Vastolla enclosed in the Cask . 311