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PREFACE.

The custom of exchanging tokens of friendship and affection, has its origin in some of the best feelings of human nature; and, under proper regulations, may be made conducive to valuable ends.

We read a book which a friend gives us, for our friend's sake; when neither the subject nor style of the book itself would attract us. And if we can throw around it the embellishments of art, and thus give to truth and knowledge a captivating dress, these advantages are by no means to be undervalued.

Scarcely a day passes in which we have not one or more calls for such a volume as we herewith present. And though there is no lack of beautifully printed and ornamented books, they fail in several important respects to suit our purpose. Hence we are constrained by necessity to prepare one, or to forego a favourable opportunity of doing good.

Our effort has been to suit the variety of ages and tastes which are found in most families; and though the subjects of the embellishments are generally juvenile, there is a character in them which those of the most mature taste and judgment will not fail to appreciate. The matter is entirely original, and the contributors will accept the acknowledgments of the Committee for their kind offices.

If to cause a blade of wheat to grow where none grew before, makes a man a benefactor of his race, what shall we say of one who is instrumental in lodging a single truth in the mind of an immortal being, and awakening him to some just sense of his destinies and responsibilities?

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