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I have passed manye landes and manye yles and contrees, and cherched manye fulle straunge places, and have ben in manye a fulle gode honourable companye. Now I am comen home to reste. And thus recordynge the tyme passed, I have fulfilled these thynges and putte hem wryten in this boke, as it woulde come into my mynde.


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The cheerful breeze sets fair ; we fill our sail,
And scud before it. When the critic starts,
And angrily unties his bags of wind,
Then we lay to, and let the blast go by.


I DEDICATE this little book to thee with him without more ado. Indeed, the success of many fears and misgivings of heart. Being a an unknown author is as uncertain as the wind. stranger to thee, and having never administered “When a book is first to appear in the world," to thy wants nor to thy pleasures, I can ask says a celebrated French writer, “one knows nothing at thy hands saving the common cour not whom to consult to learn its destiny. The tesies of life. Perchance, too, what I have stars preside not over its nativity. Their inwritten will be little to thy taste; - for it is fluences have no operation on it; and the most little in accordance with the stirring spirit of confident astrologers dare not foretell the dithe present age. If so, I crave thy forbearance verse risks of fortune it must run.” for having thought that even the busiest mind It is from such considerations, worthy reader, might not be a stranger to those moments of that I would fain bespeak thy friendly offices, repose when the clock of time clicks drowsily at the outset. But in asking these, I would behind the door, and trifles become the amuse not forestall thy good opinion too far, lest in ment of the wise and great.

the sequel I should disappoint thy kind wishes. Besides, what perils await the adventurous I ask only a welcome and God-speed ; hoping, author who launches forth into the uncertain that, when thou hast read these pages, thou current of public favor in so frail a bark as wilt say to me, in the words of Nick Bottom, this! The very rocking of the tide may over

the weaver,

“ I shall desire you of more acset him ; or peradventure some freebooting quaintance, good Master Cobweb.” critic, prowling about the great ocean of let

Very sincerely thine, ters, may descry his strange colors, hail him

THE AUTHOR. through a gray goose-quill, and perhaps sink BRUNSWICK, Maine, 1833.



I am a Palmer, as ye se,
Whiche of my lyfe muche part have spent
In many a fayre and farre cuntrie,
As pilgrims do of good intent.


“ LYSTENYTH, ye godely gentylmen, and all Wyth harpyng, and pipyng, and other mery spellis, that ben hereyn!” I am a pilgrim benighted

Wyth gle, and wyth game." on my way, and crave a shelter till the storm is

The Pays d'Outre-Mer, or the Land beyond over, and a seat by the fireside in this honora the Sea, is a name by which the pilgrims and ble company. As a stranger I claim this cour crusaders of old usually designated the Holy tesy at your hands; and will repay your hos Land. I, too, in a certain sense, have been a pitable welcome with tales of the countries I pilgrim of Outre-Mer; for to my youthful imhave passed through in my pilgrimage.

agination the Old World was a kind of Holy This is a custom of the olden time. In the Land, lying afar off beyond the blue horizon days of chivalry and romance, every baron of the ocean; and when its shores first rose bold, perched aloof in his feudal castle, wel upon my sight, looming through the hazy atcomed the stranger to his halls, and listened mosphere of the sea, my heart swelled with the with delight to the pilgrim's tale and the song deep emotions of the pilgrim, when he sees of the troubadour. Both pilgrim and trouba afar the spire which rises above the shrine of dour had their tales of wonder from a distant his devotion. land, embellished with the magic of Oriental In this my pilgrimage, “ I have passed many exaggeration. Their salutation was, –

lands and countries, and searched many full

strange places.” I have traversed France from “Lordyng lystnith to my tale, That is meryer than the nightingale."

Normandy to Navarre ; smoked my pipe in a

Flemish inn; floated through Holland in a The soft luxuriance of the Eastern clime Trekschuit; trimmed my midnight lamp in a bloomed in the song of the bard ; and the wild German university ; wandered and mused amid and romantic tales of regions so far off as to be the classic scenes of Italy; and listened to the regarded as almost a fairy land were well suited gay guitar and merry castanet on the borders to the childish credulity of an age when what of the blue Guadalquivir. The recollection of is now called the Old World was in its child many of the scenes I have passed through is hood. Those times have passed away. The still fresh in my mind; while the memory of world has grown wiser and less credulous; and others is fast fading away, or is blotted out the tales which then delighted delight no forever. But now I will stay the too busy longer. But man has not changed his nature. hand of time, and call back the shadowy past. He still retains the same curiosity, the same Perchance the old and the wise may accuse me love of novelty, the same fondness for romance of frivolity ; but I see in this fair company the and tales by the chimney-corner, and the same bright eye and listening ear of youth, — an age desire of wearing out the rainy day and the less rigid in its censure and more willing to be long winter evening with the illusions of fancy pleased. “To gentlewomen and their loves is and the fairy sketches of the poet's imagina consecrated all the wooing language, allusions tion. It is as true now as ever, that

to love - passions, and sweet embracements “Off talys, and tryfulles, many man tellys;

feigned by the Muse ’mongst hills and rivers ; Sume byn trew, and sume byn ellis;

whatsoever tastes of description, battel, story, A man may dryfe forthe the day that long tyme dwellis abstruse antiquity, and law of the kingdome, 129


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