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St. Mary's Abbey, Melrose
The Monastery of Old Melrose and the Town and Parish of Melrose by James A. Wade. (1861)


Nothing seems more difficult to write than a Preface. But wc shall be brief and explicit We have studied to product a work accessible to all classes of readers, as there appeared to us no royal road to direct the historian, antiquary, or tourist, through the endless mazes of enchantment, that lie deeply embosomed in every nook and comer of this classic land. Our aim has been to give increased information, in less than the accustomed space, anti at a minimum cost; and to preserve dates of remarkable historical events and circumstances, in correctly classified and methodical order. It would be invidious to render thanks to some, where gratitude is due to all who have given us their kind assistance and valuable co-operation. We have laboriously consulted contemporaneous history, and endeavoured to build our structure upon the simple narration of farts, evidenced to us by truthful and impartial witnesses. There may be faults of omission and commission, perhaps, but these we shall only be too glad to correct in a future issue of this work. To float with the stream of time for upwards of a thousand years, and take up and set down those we chose to travel with, each at the proper offing and the right time, is a voyage of greater magnitude than some may contemplate. We have made free use of the writings and opinions of others, our end and aim being to conduct those who trust us by the best and easiest route, whether by the highway of those who have preceded us, or the byway of our own choosing.

If the footfalls of the following unassuming pages, leave just impressions on the minds of those who road them, and truth and goodness seem the lovelier in their historic robes, our wish and purpose will be magnanimously and happily accomplished.

It may interest some to know that the illustrations are all from drawings taken from the ruins. No effort has been spared to make them accurate as well as artistically elaborate.

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