whilst the wish to preserve a popular tone, induced the editor occasionally to restrict himself in those more elaborate inquiries, into which another class of readers would willingly have followed him. It has, of course, been his object to steer as fair a middle course between these extremes as he could ;—sacrificing nothing that was essential to the full elucidation of the subject,—and not dwelling unnecessarily, after that object was attained, on any of the dryer details, which might have failed to interest the general reader.
The subject is a very full one ;—and the materials, though very loosely scattered about, are very copious. It was found absolutely necessary, therefore, to limit the present, volume to a review of the festival and its observances, as they exist in England—only occasionally adverting to the practices of other countries, where they throw immediate light on the customs of this.
If, then, our readers shall be amused or instructed by our gossip, at the winter fire, we hope to meet them in the fields, and upon the hills, amongst the flowers of spring and the fruits of autumn;—to dance with them beneath the May-pole, and join them in the merry revels of the Harvest-home.
The Editor cannot suffer himself to omit this opportunity of acknowledging his obligations to Mr. Crofton Crocker, for some very valuable assistance.