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PREFACE.

As the Gem Opal is ever showing “new semblances," so our Book Opal comes, year after year, bearing new features of excellence.

In this volume, the best as the latest, we have sought to carry out and illustrate the original plan; which was to bring together in one volume, specimens worthy of being preserved of the various kinds of literature usually termed “popular.” We have here embodied the result in the several forms of religious, romantic, moral, and critical articles; the poem, essay, story, and biography, have each and all, lent their rays to make our Opal a gem of light. The articles are original, written for this work, and will, we trust, be found of far deeper interest than usually characterizes books of this class. We need say nothing of the contributors. Each name is known and honored in our literature. But we must express our

gratitude as well as pleasure in being able to enroll such writers in this experiment of forming a higher tone of moral excellence for the fashionable books of the parlor and boudoir.

Truth is vitality, and if the mind
Be fed on poison, it must lose its power.”

We have sought to gain and give the honey of truth through this medium of gentle lore. The success of the Opal has been of the most encouraging kind. We are sure, therefore, that this beautiful volume, the sixth of the series, will meet with a cordial welcome. No care or expense has been spared in the embellishments. The engravings, from pictures by an accomplished artist,' are designed expressly for the work.

And now, kind friends, we commend to your warm sympathies the cherishing of these sweet fancies and earnest visions of the good and true, garnered and set like rays of faith, hope, and love, in our precious Opal.

1 Rothermel.

LIST OF EMBELLISHMENTS.

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