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Days at the Coast
Preface


The Sketches contained in the present volume are the fruit of a series of personal excursions, extending over several summers, to the several localities to which they refer. The writer's primary intention in commencing the series was to describe, to the best of his ability, the various towns and watering-places, with the islands, the lochs, and, in short, the principal features, natural and artificial, of the Frith of Clyde. But his design was not confined to mere description. The shores of the spacious estuary alluded to are rich, not only in material beauty, but in all the charms of historical and traditional association. These the writer has everywhere endeavoured to glean, either from old musty tomes and records of the past, or from the lips of that useful personage, the u oldest inhabitant” of the respective localities. By the diligence and assiduity with which he has conducted these investigations, the writer has been enabled to expiscate a considerable quantity of auld warld lore; and he feels confident that a perusal of his pages will not only prove instructive (with regard to such matters) to the stranger who pays a passing visit to the Frith, but to many who have long been familiar with its shores, but who may have neglected to make themselves acquainted with their numerous and most interesting associations. In laying the result of his labours before the public, the writer therefore hopes that he is, to some extent, supplying a desideratum, and that his volume may be regarded as a not altogether unnecessary addition to the topographical literature of the West of Scotland.

The writer may also mention that the Sketches contained in the present volume have been composed in the intervals of his professional labours as a member of the newspaper press, and that they appeared, from time to time, in the columns of two of the Glasgow journals with which he has had the honour of being connected. These facts are mentioned in excuse of any appearances of carelessness in style— often the result of hasty composition—or of inaccurate arrangement, which is frequently occasioned by an interrupted and fragmentary method of publication.

H. M‘D.
92 John Street, Bridgeton,
Glasgow, October, 1857.


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