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PREF A CE.
HE Author of this tale feels a few words of
apology to be due to his readers. He is conscious of having allowed his fancy to run wild at times, perhaps even beyond the wide limits sanctioned by his subject; to have in much reversed the accepted traditions of fairy lore. Nor is that all. In dealing with worldly matters, where such full latitude is not given, he fears he may have written many things to try the patience of the critic.
He looks for indulgence in this; that where he may have erred, it has been through an over-anxiety to point his moral, in his earnest endeavours to teach those lessons intended to bear good fruit, through the medium of Great-heart and the fairy sisters.
He can only hope that this candour may induce his readers to overlook and forgive much they may read, or draw forth the unkindly sting from any too hastily-dealt shaft of censure.
Earnestly does he trust also that the fairies may not have had to carry all the good gleaned from their visit back with them, but that some little may still linger behind within these pages, to be extracted by those who read them.
Then will the Author's efforts be happily crowned, his reward fully secured.
LONDON, Fuly 1879.