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PREFACE.

On adding one more to the numerous topographical works which are already before the public, some apology might be deemed necessary, were not the following pages descriptive of a part of the united kingdom, which, though confessedly interesting, has hitherto remained very imperfectly known. The Lake of Killarney, however, has not wholly escaped notice: in every general account of Ireland its extraordinary beauty has been dwelt on; it has been the theme of the poet; and has afforded subjects for a great variety of

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engravings. But as language, unaided by the pencil, is insufficient to convey distinct ideas of visible objects ; so the productions of art, unaccompanied by a detailed verbal explanation, can communicate little knowledge of a place, beyond what may be collected from the mere glance of the eye; and accurate even as the representations of particular views may be, they commonly leave the mind ignorant, both of the connection of the component parts, and their relative situation in respect to the surrounding scenery: some account of the Lake, in which the description was assisted by a series of plates, appeared to be much wanting, and it is humbly hoped that the work now offered to the public will be

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found, in some measure, to supply this deficiency

The two first divisions of the work are devoted entirely to the scenery of the Lake; the remaining sections are generally descriptive of the surrounding country, including a considerable part of the southern coast of Ireland. The materials were chiefly collected in the year 1800; they were augmented, at different periods afterwards, during repeated visits to Killarney, where the author has occasionally remained for

eral months together. It was not, however, until very lately, that he came to a determination of arranging them for the public eye: the task was undertaken for the amusement of his leisure hours ; hours which, if not use

fully employed, have, at least, glided agreeably away, while he was engaged in retracing those scenes which had formerly given him so much delight. That the work might have been rendered much more attractive by an abler pen,

he feels very sensibly; but, whatever its imperfections may be, he ventures to lay claim, at least, to the merit of fidelity

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