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" It is pleasant to note all plants, from the rush to the

spreading cedar, From the giant king of palms to the lichen that staineth its stem.”

MARTIN TUPPER.

TO

WILLIAM THOMAS THOMSON, ESQ.,

F.R.S.E., F.I.A.

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PREFACE

то

THE FOURTH EDITION.

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful. Beauty is God's handwriting—a wayside sacrament; welcome it in every fair face, every fair sky, and every fair flower, and thank Him for it, the fountain of all loveliness ; drink it in, simply, earnestly, with all your eyes ; tis a charmèd draught, a cup of blessing.”

An author pens his preface to his first edition with mingled feelings. He may hope, both modestly and truly, that his work deserves the public favour, but he must know that favour does not always follow. When, however, a second and a third edition have come and gone, and a fourth is in request, he may fairly consider that his work has not been in vain.

Truly sorry should I have been had my “Wild Flower Wanderings” proved that I had failed to render a subject I truly love, attractive to others; a

I subject to which the good and the true, and there

;

fore the beautiful, add so much. A subject, moreover, in which, as in all branches of natural history, is involved so much of instruction as well as of in. terest and amusement. Instruction, far beyond the mere knowledge connected with its immediate objects, instruction to the

young

mind in habits of accurate observation directed to special purposes, in the power of distinguishing minute differences, and in the faculty of perceiving general resemblances. Such power of discrimination is a common want, and in no way is it better supplied than by the cultivation of natural science in almost any one of its depart

ments.

As remarked in my first preface, my little work was not sent forth as one which was to complete the reader's botanical education; its intention being rather to lead the mind to the study of the subject in deeper, and professedly more scientific works, and to present, in as interesting and comprehensible a form as possible, such a view, general and otherwise, of the vegetable kingdom, as could be illustrated by the plants and flowers of our own land.

More especially I directed my writing to interest the young

mind in the observation of those lovely,

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