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THE

RECTORY OF VALEHEAD.

REV. ROBERT WILSON EVANS, M.A.

There sits a look of inward peace upon thee,
There floats a glow of innocence around thee;
Thou bringest airs of fragrant gladness with thee,
Like glorified saint, or angel dropt from bliss—
Can earth have homes so unearthly.?

FOURTH EDITION.

LONDON:
SMITH,. ELDER, AND CO., CORNHILL.

1831.

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PREFACE.

The plan of the little work here presented to the reader, may seem to require some prefatory statement. Its subject might have been treated in abstract in a regularly arranged dissertation; but little reflection, however, is necessary, in order to perceive that a formal treatise were but ill suited to its nature. The best part of the history of home, is made up of a multitude of minute and irregular incidents, which make their impression rather by their accumulation and unceasing action, than by their importance. Of these such a plan could not lay hold, much less turn them to their proper account; besides, a very large portion of the persons intended to be addressed, require their attention to be engaged by a much more popular mode of appeal. Upon these grounds, a miscellaneous detail of circumstances appeared preferable. This affords a comprehensive and practical vehicle of instruction, and supplies, at the same time, to the subject all the popularity of which its dignity is capable. On the same grounds, likewise, the intermixture of prose and verse recommended itself to the author, and has been employed according as either dress seemed most adapted to the case in hand, the former best rendering the expression of the more common and regular routine of circumstances, the latter being more suitable to the pointing of those minute and uncontemplated incidents which are continually starting up and rousing our reflection. Miscellaneous as the appearance of his volume may thus be, the author trusts that he has obtained variety, and not violated unity of design; that all is uniformly directed to one object, and, through that, to the one great end, without which no deed is good, no thought is worthy, no affection is pure.

The subject has long appeared to the author to be too slightly dwelt upon by

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