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INTRODUCTION.

ALTHOUGH it may well be deemed altogether superfluous to offer a word in recommendation of a Volume of "FIRESIDE TALES," the title-page of which bears the name of Mrs. Ellis, the value of the present work may, perhaps, be enhanced in the estimation of “

THE YOUNG,” by the assurance, that its contents are selected entirely and exclusively from the various JUVENILE SCRAP-Books, which, with a view to their social and "fireside" amusement and instruction, have, of late years, been annually presented to them by that lady; and which, among youthful readers, have been 80 eminently and deservedly popular.

Those young readers who have been accustomed to welcome “ The Juvenile Scrap-Book," with each returning Christmas or New Year, as a familiar friend, will be glad to receive, in a collected and separate form, the best Articles which, from time to time, have appeared in that work; while, to others, the following Tales and Poems will have the additional charm of novelty.

The contents of the present volume will be found to have been selected with a special regard to variety, as well as to individual excellence. Of the papers which have reference to History and Geography it may be observed, that they are no less calculated to excite in the minds of the young the desire to obtain a fuller and more accurate knowledge of the subjects of which they treat, than to refresh the recollection of readers of more mature age, and more extensive information.

During the happy season of early youth, when the heart is light, and care and sorrow are, as yet, but as sounds without meaning, “it is sometimes,” observes the writer of these attractive Tales, “ from the very novelty of the occupation, quite a pleasure to be prevailed upon to think." Subjects worthy of thought are suggested in the following pages in rich variety, and with a benevolence of purpose and a felicity of style, which can scarcely fail to attract and interest the youthful mind. The plates, too, by which the volume is embellished, are numerous, and, in many instances, of a high order of excellence.

In a literary point of view, these “ FIRESIDE TALES" will not detract from the well-merited reputation of the Author of “ The Women of England;" while, as it respects their moral and religious tendency, they may be justly characterized as breathing "a spirit of hope and trust, of cheerfulness, contentment, and good-will.”+ Lively and attractive as they are, they are totally free from hurtful or dangerous excitement; and while they are sufficiently entertaining to rivet the attention of the young, they are sufficiently instructive to deserve a permanent place in the juvenile library. It may be hoped, too, that their beneficial influence upon the minds of their readers, whether as communicating positive knowledge, or moral and religious impressions, will be strengthened by the association of ideas which, in after-life, will connect them with the happy recollection of “FIRESIDE ENJOYMENT."

• See Preface to the Juvenile Scrap-Book for 1840. + Preface to Juvenile Scrap-Book for 1848.

Scrap-Book, 1842.

ILLUSTRATIONS.

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Mary Lesley; or, The First Falsehood
Young Thoughts......
Château of Henry the Fourth at Pau
The Ambitious Boy........
The Philosopher
Travellers' Tales
A Party of Pleasure
Miller's Dale, Derbyshire
The Young Lady just come from School
Ascent of Mount Vesuvius ....
Aunt Emily's Visit .....
Woodland Music
Richmond, Virginia ....
Oliver Cromwell
The Island Queen
The Old-fashioned Hall
Rich and Poor
The Visit of Charity
The Poor Man and his Dog
Uncle David........

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FIRESIDE TALES

FOR THE YOUNG.

MARY LESLEY;

OR, THE FIRST FALSE HOOD.

MARY LESLEY was the only child of indulgent parents, who, if they erred in treating her too tenderly, were yet so scrupulous and faithful in all that belonged to her religious education, that she must have been perverse indeed, had they failed in their endeavours to make her a good girl. She was, consequently, what is generally called a very good girl ; and everything went on in so orderly, quiet, and respectable a manner in her father's house, that she acquired a habit of thinking it was very

sy to be good ; and, besides, it was so respectable and so praiseworthy, that she could scarcely restrain her surprise and indignation, when she heard of any of her acquaintance being otherwise. Above all other things, she

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