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PRINCIPAL OF THE UNITED COLLEGE OF ST. SALVATOR AND ST. LEONARD,

ST. ANDREWS.

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NEW YORK:
PUBLISHED BY HURD AND HOUGHTON.
BOSTON: H. O. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge

1877.

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RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE :

STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY

H. 0. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.

PREFACE.

مردم و م - جم مع

THIS small book is the result of some lectures which I had occasion to give to a large popular audience more than a year ago.

I have since re-written and re-cast them into their present shape. Yet the book still bears the impress of the peculiar object with which the lectures were composed, and of the circumstances under which they were delivered. That object was to add a kind of literary supplement to several longer and more systematic courses of lectures on physical subjects, such as Chemistry, Geology, and Physiology, which were delivered at the same time by Professors who are my colleagues in this College. It seemed to me that some good might be done, if I could succeed in bringing before our hearers the truth that, while the several physical sciences explain each some portion of Nature's mysteries, or Nature considered under one special aspect, yet that after all the physical sciences have said their say, and given their expla

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nations, there remains more behind - another aspect of Nature - a further truth regarding it, with which, real and interesting though it is, Science does not intermeddle. The truth on which especially I wished to fix attention is the relation which exists between Nature and the sensitive and imaginative soul of man, and the result or creation which arises from the meeting of these two. That is a true and genuine result, which it does not fall within the province of Science to investigate, but which it is one peculiar function of Poetry to seize, and, as far as may be, to interpret. That the beauty which looks from the whole face of Nature, and is interwoven with every fibre of it, is not the less, because it requires a living soul for its existence, as real a truth as the gravitation of the earth's particles or the composition of its materials, - that careful noting and familiar knowledge of this beauty reveals a new aspect of the world, which will amply repay the observer, — and that the Poets are, in a special way, kindlers of sensibility, teachers who make us observe more carefully, and feel more keenly the wonders that are around us : these are some of the truths which I wished to bring before my hearers, and which, if I could in any measure succeed in doing so, would, I felt sure, not be without mental benefit.

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