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THERE is a pleasant legend which tells how the Hindoo maidens, in whose hearts love is beginning to dawn, go to the banks of the Ganges, and launch, each one, her little cocoa-shell boat with its lighted lamp. Kneeling on the river's brink, they watch till the light dies, or the boat, with its lamp still burning, goes out of sight, and from its fate they augur hope or despair.
Twice before I have made my venture, as doubtfully as they, on the tide of public opinion, and now I have come again to the river's brink to send forth "My Third Book." What the future will decree for it-genial airs, warmth, and sunlight, or adverse gales -I know not. I can but wait. Hitherto I have found kind friends among my
readers, and I hope the gift I bring to-day may prove a passport to their continued regard. Some of the tales herein embodied may be recognized by those familiar with the magazine literature of the past four years; but, I trust, their reappearance in a new garb will not be unwelcome. Other portions of the contents are entirely new; and of all, whatever their imperfections, I can but say, as those who proffer humble entertainment to distinguished guests,
“ Still the poor mansion offers thee its best."