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Very few words are necessary in presenting this unambitious selection of Sketches and Poems to the public. They are for the most part random off-shoots of fancy, the product of youthful enthusiasm, when the imagination is more fervid and ebullient, than the judgment solid and correct. They were chiefly written during a brief stay in my native valley of Cleveland, after some years absence in "the great Metropolis," when every object once familiar, was surveyed and described with all the ardour of renewed affection.
The Prose Sketches are descriptive of the finest scenery of the most romantic portion of the County of York, viz: Cleveland; the Letters comprise memoranda of a tour made some years ago through Holland and part of Wales in company with my esteemed friend and preceptor, Robert Knox, Esq. M. D. of Edinburgh; the Poems were composed during the intervals of more laborious literary occupation, and are mere local records of love, tender flirtations of the Muse.
The author, therefore, trusts that the portraiture of scenes which, when " long in noisome cities pent," had been his chief treasure and delight, may still find acceptance with the true-hearted and honest reader. To
men whose tastes are vitiated with the sounding prose, and tinkling verse of the "Young England" oracles, his appeal must be as that of "one crying in the wilderness."
Should the metropolitan critic cast his eye on this, a Cleveland work, by a Cleveland author, and printed and published in Cleveland, the writer trusts he will "elevate his vision" for a moment beyond the fogs of Fleet Street and Temple Bar-that he will fancy himself with a knapsack on his shoulder, a gun or fishing rod in his hand, just emancipated for three pleasant summer months from his books and his papers, proofs and devils, among the mountains and moorlands, forests and lakes, rivers and lovely streams of his native state; and then, from kindred sympathy, and genial feeling, he will know how to excuse in a brother of the craft, all present errors, alike of haste, bad taste, and bad management.
Be this as it may, if the book afford as much pleasure in the reading, as it has conferred in the writing, the author will be amply satisfied, and in that hope,
"Go, little book, from this my solitude
I cast thee on the waters-Go THY WAY!"
Gisbrough, Cleveland, Yorkshire, 1844.
J. W. O.
Is there any man, woman, or child, throughout all broad Yorkshire, that has not heard of Roseberry—famous old Roseberry? We should think not one! There it stands before our eyes as we write, the same majestic and venerable Mount-serene and stupendous now, as when the ancient Druids reared their altars on its snowy peak-the same as when the brave Britons crowded to its summit to watch the invading ships of Rome—the same as when pilgrims from afar gathered to hear the first fathers of Christianity-the same mount which thousands of successive generations have delighted to gaze upon the trysting place of love, the burial-ground of lost affections, the beacon, too, of patriotism and war! And now we stand upon its hoary summit, with heart less buoyant, and limbs less elastic, than in those joyous days of boyhood, when we climbed the same grassy hillocks so cheerily; but still with equal pride and delight, and the same deep and fervent love of Nature as then! How freshly the southern breezes float around us-how enchanting the sight of woods, and groves, and blossom