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The pretensions of this work are very humble. It lays claim to little originality with respect to its plan, and to less as far as its materials are concerned. The only merit to which it aspires, is that of separating truth from fiction, by presenting to its readers the actual realities of those persons and things, which have furnished the Author of Waverley with the leading characters and events of his different Novels; but which have been so adorned by his genius, or distorted by his fancy, as to be robbed of much of their resemblance to their historical prototypes; and the only praise which it can anticipate, is that of some patient research, and some little discrimination, in the acquisition and selection of materials for this purpose.

Whether or not that intermixture of ficti. tious with recorded history, which forms so marked a feature in the character of modern novels, be right in itself, or favourable in its result to the interests of truth, the progress of sound knowledge, and the moral improvement of the age, is a question that we do not mean to encounter. It is a mooting point, which has been often and ably discussed; and still remains undetermined, though the ingenious author of the novels before us has himself cleverly argued its admissibility. But, be such a species of composition defensible or not, it cannot, we think, be doubted, that, when a long series of works" of this description has nearly monopolized the public taste, and deeply interested the popular feeling, it may be desirable to accompany those deviations from rigid fact, in which they so largely abound, by the statements of real

history ; that the bane (if it must be so terined) may be corrected by its antidote ; and the minds of the young, the idle, and the unread; (and to them only must we venture to offer our volumes,) may be preserved from mbibing false impressions and erroneous notions on subjects, respecting which accurate information is highly interesting, if not essentially important.


We doubt whether the title of our work should not have been guarded by the restrictive expression of “some illustrations," Jest the reader should anticipate more information in it, than he will actually find. The particulars admitting of illustration in the Novels by the Author of Waverley (forming in themselves a little library) are so numerous and diversified; the characters, incidents,


allusions, descriptions, &c. connected with real existences, and historical notices, so super. abundant ; that “ to track him," as Dryden elegantly said of Ben Johnson, “ through the “ snow of the ancients,” in this respect, would require a far deeper research, and a much larger portion of time, than most men would either be competent to undertake, or inclined to afford. It may

be proper here to intimate, that, should the present volume (or FIRST PART of our illustrations) meet the approbation of the Public, it will be speedily followed by the publication of the two remaining PARTS, (in as many volumes,) embracing observations on all the other Novels by the Author of Wa. verley. The period connected with the novel of Ivanhoe, its history and usages, being of a curious and somewhat recondite nature, it was deemed expedient to multiply and expand the illustrations more than will be necessary with respect to our Author's remaining works,

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