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describe everything simply and truthfully,--record only as facts such as are known and can be proved to be such, -and never forget that one hand only fashioned all the objects which it gives them pleasure and interest to observe, and that the same power regulates their continuance or change.
No pains have been spared by the publishers of the present edition to illustrate it fully. An artist, Mr. Pearson, was sent to Selborne to procure authentic sketches of the village and surrounding country, so that these may be depended upon as faithful representations, and not mere copies from previous engravings. These have also been accompanied by some notes describing the present condition of Selborne, which cannot fail to be interesting
“Selborne has probably suffered as little from change as any village that has obtained a similar celebrity. It has been so often described in former editions of White's fascinating and instructive volume, that any farther account of its present aspect might appear unnecessary, yet in some few particulars it may be interesting to note the result of a recent visit. The first view of Selborne obtained by the visitor as he approaches the village from the New Elton road is peculiarly striking. The church and vicarage with a few of the houses lie embosomed among trees in the valley ; beyond these a small wooded park belonging to the residence of White extends to the “ Hanger," or hanging wood, which is a striking feature in this locality. This wood, composed of luxuriant beech-trees, rises on the side of a steep hill to a great height, appearing to overhang the village and giving to the landscape a particular and striking beauty. Nore Hill, seen upon the left, is also a richly wooded eminence, divided from the Hanger by an undulating slope."
The above is descriptive of the view placed at the commencement of our Introductory remarks. The view which has been selected as a frontispiece to this volume, and apparently taken from some point at no great distance from that chosen by the modern artist, is copied from the large engraving published with the first and original 4to edition, and upon comparing the one with the other it will be at once seen that there can be comparatively very little change, except such as would necessarily occur by the growth of the timber and other unavoidable natural circumstances.
“In looking along the village street of Selborne the Queen's Arms' is seen upon the left, the chief inn of the place, where the visitor will be hospitably entertained; but upon the right is the habitation which no pilgrim to this favourite locality will contemplate without extreme interest. It is the residence of the naturalist himself, remaining almost in the same condition externally as when tenanted by him. One wing has been added since his death, and this has been built in exact keeping with the other portions, and the present distinguished occupier has admirably improved the grounds and park behind the house without diminishing the interest attached to the locality by altering its leading features. The house as seen from behind
presents the appearance of a manorial residence, and with its walls covered with ivy and creeping plants, and its many roofs discoloured by the lapse of time, gives just that impression which one would wish to receive of the residence of our author. At the end of the lawn, opposite the house, stands White's sundial, set up and used by himself, and here also are pointed out the great oak-tree and juniper-tree referred to in his letters. The space from the lawn to the foot of the 'Hanger' is occupied by a park now much improved.”
It has not been mentioned by any of his later editors whether the original manuscript of White's letters yet exist, and if so by whom they are possessed-neither are we aware of the preservation of any of John's collections, or of the correspondence of his other brothers, and if we except the remains of the old tortoise
and the picture of the hybrid pheasant by Elmer, which we learn from Mr. Bennet are still preserved in his former habita
tion, few personal relics remain. His worth was not known until he had himself passed away, but his friends and relations may rejoice that in the simple annals of Selborne he has left a far more imperishable memorial than any that could have been erected by his most attached friends or wellwishers.