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den Wellis a. nance

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INTRODUCTION.

BY THE EDITOR.

To say that my deceased friend had always been an eccentric creature, a humorist, an oddity, will scarcely be received as a sufficient explanation of the quaint title which he has thought proper to affix to his work, and for which, therefore, I feel it my first duty as an Editor, to account. After the death of his wife, and, subsequently, of his only child, to both of whom he had been most tenderly attached, Dr. Chatfield sought relief from sorrow by frequent changes of scene, and found such alleviation of mind in wandering over the wilder and least frequented districts of the north of England, as well as such an expanded field for the exercise of his philanthropy, the ruling passion of his soul, that he formed the Quixotic resolution of abandoning his regular professional pursuits, then highly profitable, and of exercising them gratuitously for the benefit of such remote and forlorn objects, as he might encounter in that erratic life which he had now determined on adopting. Born in Yorkshire, and well acquainted with its loneliest recesses, experience had convinced him that there were many remote hamlets, as well as solitary hovels of wood and turf-cutters, charcoal burners, and other peasants, where much sickness and suffering were endured, either from local difficulties, or from pecuniary inability to employ even a village practitioner. To this class of indigent and obscure sufferers, whom he visited in regular periodical excursions, he devoted, for several

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