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It has been deemed advisable that I should preface this edition of Mortimer Colins's more philosophical and quietly thoughtful essays, which I have put together as a labour of love, with a few words of introduction. Though never on terms of great intimacy, I was well acquainted with him for the last fifteen years of his life, and during the whole of that period our professional and social relations were of the pleasantest description. It was in the autumn of 1860, when, under Mr. Sala's guidance, I was forming the staff of Temple Bar, the first number of which appeared in December of that year, that I wrote to Mortimer Collins—whose fugitive verses in

verses

SOIN

various magazines I had always admired—and asked him to be of our number. He assented at once, and proposed coming to see me to talk over the style and prospects of the new venture. I looked forward to his visit with some amusement, as I happened to know that he had on several occasions been a very bitter critic and assailant of mine, and that in a literary quarrel in which I had been engaged, and which was at that time of very recent date, he had, like many others, warmly espoused my adversary's cause, and in commenting on my conduct had compared me to 'a pert little London sparrow.' He came : à big, broadshouldered, heavily-built man-a noticeable man from his leonine head, with earnest, wistful eyes, and crisp curling beard, and an odd, half-defiant, half-surprised look in his face. The defiance changed into good temper, but the air of surprise rather increased as I rose from my chair and stretched out my hand in welcome. 'I had no notion you were so big !' were his first words as he glanced at my thews and sinews, which were nearly equal to his own. “Not much of the London sparrow type,' I replied. He had forgotten the allusion, and when I had recalled it to his

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