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OLD LOVE-LETTERS

Letters of Sentiment

WRITTEN BY PERSONS EMINENT IN ENGLISH LITERATURE

AND HISTORY

COLLECTED AND EDITED BY

ABBY SAGE RICHARDSON

"Far more than kisses, letters mingle souls,
For thus friends absent ineet "

DONNE

FOURTH EDITION

BOSTON
TICKNOR AND COMPANY

.. 211 Tremont Street

UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY
MAR 1 1940

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TO

MY LOST FRIEND

I Dedicate this Volume

FILLED WITH UTTERANCES OF HEARTS ONCE WARM AND LIVING,

NOW COLD AND DEAD.

INTRODUCTORY.

It was the fashion often, in days when literature was not so assured and independent a profession as now, to begin a book with a preface addressed to a being, half-shadowy and half-real, who existed in the author's mind as “The Gentle Reader.” This reader, in whom the author embodied his public, was entreated graciously to entertain that which had come from the heart of the writer, and to look with sympathy, or at least with criticism animated by kindly interest, on that which was laid before him. It is to this same “ Gentle Reader,” almost extinct now and not often recalled, —- to this shadowy creature between whom and himself the author could fancy there existed a friendly bond, that this little book is specially commended ; indeed, it is to him only that it is offered. The editor can say this with more earnestness because she feels herself in some sense the repository only of those secrets of the heart which are here revealed :

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