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PREFACE.

IRELAND is such an unfashionable country, that to travel out of it seems the pursuit of every one who is not forced by poverty to stay at home. Thus, every one who is tired of his time, and fondly fancies that change of mind can be procured by change of place, flies from his own despised country as fast as steam can paddle or wheel whirl him, to join the herd of idlers that infest the sunny roads of France or Italy; visiting the Continent, as woodcocks do southern shores, to be shot at by sharpers, and become the fair and full-fed game of inn-keepers, and artists, and Ciceroni. Therefore there is not a dusty watering place in England, nor an old arch or ruin in Italy, nor a lake or mountain in Switzerland that is not familiar on the lips of tourists. Thus, driving along amidst dust and disagreeability, eating, drinking, and sleeping in discomfort-at length men come home not better, not wiser, not happier than they were when they set out; or, as an old writer well

says, “they who cross the seas to fill their hearts and their brain, do but travel northward for heat, and seek that candle which they carry in their hand.” Now with all deference it is suggested, that there are monuments of antiquity in Ireland worthy of inspection, there is scenery on which the eye may rest with delight-we have woods, and waters, and glens, and mountains, abundantly picturesque, and sufficient to call forth the exertion of the pen and pencil in their description.

The following little Work is, therefore, offered to public patronage, as the result of a tour through some of the hitherto unnoticed districts of Ireland; at the same time it is fair to advise those who, taking up this publication from their Bookseller's counter, may be tempted to buy it, that a considerable portion of its contents has already appeared in the Christian Examiner; and the Author now offers his Sketches to the Public as a sort of second edition, wherein there is much extension of subject, if not improvement in matter.

To this adventure he confesses he was instigated, not by the suggestions of flattering friends, but the more persuasive arguments of his Publisher; should, therefore, the experiment fail, he must abide the loss. For one circumstance it may appear necessary to deprecate censure, in as much as established practice is departed from by printing and publishing in Ireland; but determined the Author was, that as his material so his manufacture should be Irish; and as Irishmen gave him entertainment, so they should receive from him employment.

It is only further necessary to say that the

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