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I THINK it is due to this volume to preface it with a few words of explanation, to account for half the book having appeared, some years ago, as the second part of my first publication : From the Hebrides to the Himalayas-a bulky work, illustrating many curiously similar customs and legends, of which I had collected notes in these two far distant countries.
Having no notion of the relative proportions of handwriting and of print, my manuscript had attained a grievously unwieldy length-a fact, however, which my publishers did not appear to have realised till the greater part of one volume was in print, and till I was on the very eve of sailing for a prolonged residence in the Pacific.
At the last moment came a sudden request for wholesale abridgment! Doubtless the wiser course would have been to have published “The Hebrides” by itself, leaving the Indian travels intact. But this would have involved sacrificing my primary idea in connecting the two countries, namely a comparison of their folk-lore; and as there really was no time for thinking out pros and cons, it seemed simplest to cut the knot by suppressing about half of my Indian manuscript.
Now, however, that I have started the Western Isles as a