Melchior's Dream and Other Tales
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AND OTHER TALES.
JULIANA HORATIA EWING.
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
Northumberland Avenue, W.C.
NEW YORK: E. & J.B. YOUNG & CO.
[Published under the direction of the General Literature Committee.]
FOUR BROTHERS AND FOUR SISTERS.
Melchior's Dream 9 The Blackbird's Nest 51 Friedrich's Ballad 66 A Bit of Green 118 Monsieur the Viscount's Friend 134 The Yew-lane Ghosts 188 A Bad Habit 236 A Happy Family 261
It is always a memorable era in a mother's life when she first introduces a daughter into society. Many things contribute to make it so; among which is the fact of the personal blessing to herself, in having been permitted to see the day—to have been spared, that is, to watch over her child in infancy, and now to see her entering life upon her own account.
But a more uncommon privilege is the one granted to me on the present occasion, of introducing a daughter into the literary world; and the feelings of pride and pleasure it calls forth, are certainly not less powerful than those created by the commoner occurrence. It is my comfort also to add that these are not overclouded by any painful anxiety or misgiving. There may be differences of opinion as to the precise amount of literary merit in these tales; but viewed as the first productions of a young author, they are surely full of promise; while their whole tone and aim is so unmistakably high, that even those who criticize the style will be apt to respect the writer.
I ought here to express a hope that it will not be thought presumptuous on my part, to undertake the office of introduction. I beg it to be understood that I address myself especially to those readers who have (I speak it with deep gratitude and pleasure) listened kindly and favourably to me for several years past, and who will, I trust, be no less well disposed towards my daughter's writings.
To them also it may be interesting to know, that in the "J.H.G." of "Melchior's Dream," etc., they will find the original of my own portrait of "Aunt Judy."
But I have still something more to say: another little bit of gratification to express. What one sister has written, another has illustrated by her pencil; a cause of double thankfulness in my heart to Him from whom all good gifts come.
Note.—The foregoing Preface was written for the first edition of "Melchior's Dream, and other Tales." This was published in 1862 under Mrs. Ewing's maiden initials, "J.H.G." It contained the first five stories in the present volume, and these were illustrated by the writer's eldest sister, "M.S.G."