Mr. G. B. Emerson, in his late report to the legislature of Massachusetts on the trees and shrubs of that state, thus describes The May Flower.

"Often from beneath the edge of a snow bank are seen rising the fragrant, pearly-white or rose-colored flowers of this earliest harbinger of spring.

"It abounds in the edges of the woods about Plymouth, as elsewhere, and must have been the first flower to salute the storm-beaten crew of the Mayflower on the conclusion of their first terrible winter. Their descendants have thence piously derived the name, although its bloom is often passed before the coming in of May."

No flower could be more appropriately selected as an emblem token by the descendants of the Puritans. Though so fragrant and graceful, it is invariably the product of the hardest and most rocky soils, and seems to draw its ethereal beauty of color and wealth of perfume rather from the air than from the slight hold which its rootlets take of the earth. It may often be found in fullest beauty matting a granite lodge, with scarcely any perceptible soil for its support.

What better emblem of that faith, and hope, and piety, by which our fathers were supported in dreary and barren enterprises, and which drew their life and fragrance from heaven more than earth?

The May Flower was, therefore, many years since selected by the author as the title of a series of New England sketches. That work had comparatively a limited circulation, and is now entirely out of print. Its articles are republished in the present volume, with other miscellaneous writings, which have from time to time appeared in different periodicals. They have been written in all moods, from the gayest to the gravest—they are connected, in many cases, with the memory of friends and scenes most dear.

There are those now scattered through the world who will remember the social literary parties of Cincinnati, for whose genial meetings many of these articles were prepared. With most affectionate remembrances, the author dedicates the book to the yet surviving members of The Semicolon.

Andover, April, 1855.

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