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Among the scenes of peculiar interest the American traveller is, as it were, under a patriotic obligation to visit while abroad, may be mentioned the birth-place of Columbus near Genoa, Cave Castle, the mansion of the Washington family in the Wolds of Yorkshire, and the abode at Edinburgh of the venerable authoress of “ Letters from the Mountains.” In acknowledgment of what we all owe to her, and as a heartfelt tribute of admiration, and affection for her talents, and virtues, the present work being out of print, the opportunity of republishing what so much identifies Mrs. Grant of Laghan with our country, is gladly seized upon by one who since one of those pilgrimages has long enjoyed the benign influence of her society and correspondence. The simple circumstances she relates of herself, and the gentle spirit of the whole work render it unnecessary to deprecate criticism; and the praise of Southey who pronounced the “ description of the breaking up of the ice in the Hudson," as a quite Homeric,” must bespeak for it a favourable perusale As a picture, taken at the dawning of the Revolution, of the clouds which then passed along to have vanished otherwise forever, and as one in a series of works shedding light upon that momentous period of which the · Pioneers” is its natural successor, its reappearance must be a welcome event in the marshalling of American literature now in progress
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR WILLIAM GRANT, K. N. T.
MASTER OF THE ROLLS.
It is very probable that the friends, by whose solicitations I was induced to arrange in the following pages my early recollections, studied more the amusement I should derive from executing this task, than any pleasure they could expect from its completion.
The principal object of this work is to record the few incidents, and the many virtues which diversified and distinguished the life of a most valued friend. Though no manners could be more simple, no notions more primitive than those which prevailed among her associates, the stamp of originality with which they were marked, and the peculiar circumstances in which they stood, both with regard to my friend, and the infant society to which they belonged, will, I fatter myself, give an interest with reflecting minds, even to this desultory narrative; and the miscellany of description, observation, and detail which it involves.
If truth, both of feeling and narration, which are its only merits, prove a sufficient counterbalance to carelessness, laxity, and incoherence of style, its prominent