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to his own; the influence that the latter exercises upon them.
Let not the reader suppose, however, that these volumes contain mere political essays; the Author has rightly judged that the picture of a people is best given by sketches of daily life, of the humour, the poetry, and the passions that characterize them.
It is not the province of an Editor to criticize, as it is not his privilege to praise, but he may be generously excused for saying a few words in behalf of an adopted work, that has had none of the advantages of paternal care.
The Author is far away, in the lands of which these volumes treat; but every page will tell that his heart is still at home. The name of England, her prosperity, and above all, her character for honour and righteous dealing, are dear to the lonely traveller as his own. Here, in the calm shelter of our English homes, this lover-like feeling may seem dormant; there is nothing to strike the fire from the flint: but, in other lands, among the jealous strictures of rival nations, the feeling is ever predominant: let the Author be forgiven if he has indulged it too far. His nationality has at least never betrayed him into an ungenerous remark upon Americans; he acknowledges their virtues, he rejoices in their prosperity, he confesses their power; but he fearlessly laughs at their foibles, and denounces their crimes.
One word more, and the Editor leaves Hochelaga to be judged on its own merits. This work— whatever else it may be—is work: it contains no hastily-written, crude impressions, but the deeplytested convictions of an earnestly-inquiring mind. The first few chapters may not seem to prove this; but in books, as in conversations, our national habit of reserve seems to exercise its influence: on first introduction to the reader, a light and general tone will often be found in English writings, that only deepens into earnestness and confidence as the work advances: we create, or hope to create, sympathies, and on these we lean more confidently as we trust that they increase.
The Editor would fain be permitted one word of apology for the office he has undertaken. He is far from presuming on the kind reception he has himself gratefully experienced from the public, by supposing that his name would be a recommendation to these volumes. But it seemed essential that an anonymous work, so full of assertions and statements, should have some name, however humble, to be responsible for their tone and truth. That responsibility the Editor undertook for his friend with confidence, even before he had perused his pages; he now maintains it with pride.