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“Our poet knows you will be just, but we
Appeal to mercy. ....

'Tis in you
To make a little sprig of laurel grow
And spread into a grove, where you may sit
And hear soft stories, when by blasting it
You gain no honor, though our ruins lie
To tell the spoils of your offended eye.”

BEAUMONT & FLETCHER, Thierry and Theodoret.





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by

TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



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OOR La Fontaine ! Racine took him one evening during Holy Week to church. “ Le bon homme," as his friends called

him, was not at all learned, nor was religion, in the old sense of the word, one of his prominent characteristics; therefore he grew horribly weary with the length of the services.

To occupy him, Racine gave him a Bible which contained the Minor Prophets. La Fontaine opened it at the prayer of the Jews in Baruch. Struck with the sublime fulness of this grand diapason of supplication, he could not control his surprise and delight, and commenced elbowing Racine restlessly.

“O my friend,” he whispered, eagerly, “what a fine genius this Baruch had ! But tell me, who was he?"

And for some time after he was so full of Baruch that every

friend he met in the streets of Paris was greeted with the question, “ Avez-vous lu Baruch ? Ah, c'était par ma foi un beau génie.

Poor great La Fontaine !
I have often thought during my journey in South-


ern Italy of “ Avez-vous lu Baruch ?when expressing my sincere enthusiasm. And while relating with innocent delight all this which was new to me in “ Les Petites Prophètes” (the Minor Prophets) of the grand Bible of Art and History, I have been probably like le bon homme La Fontaine.

Many of my readers may have known these Minor Prophets of art their whole lifetime, may be familiar with every word of beauty they have uttered through countless ages, — words which have served as texts of inspiration for great poets from the time of that “golden world” where

« The holy laws of homely pastoral,
And flowers, and founts, and nymphs, and semi-gods,

And all the Graces, found their old abodes," up through passionate passages of perilous human contests and gorgeous mediæval splendors, on to this nineteenth century where men are driving out

“ From clouds of steam majestical white horses," making true the prophetic words of Baruch, that wise “old man of noble extraction and learned in the law,” — “Bringing down every high mountain, and the everlasting rocks, and filling up the valleys to make them even with the ground.” But the Bible of the Beautiful is ever young and ever new, and the earnest, unaffected admiration of those to whom this Bible has been opened for the first time has its own peculiar charm; therefore, though my readers may be more learned, they must show as much good-natured patience as did the cleverer

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