'I believe most people would say of the four-and-twenty volumes, what I have known parents of large families do of their children: "you may think them a great many, yet there is not one we could spare". For my own part I acknowledge I am not a fair judge; all these writings, all the author's works confessed and unconfessed, are so much associated in my mind with, not the earliest, but the pleasantest, part of my life, that they awaken in me many feelings I could hardly explain to another. They are to me less like books, than like the letters one treasures up, "pleasant yet mournful to the soul", and I cannot open one of them without a thousand recollections that as time rolls on, grow precious, although they are often painful. Independent of this, how many hours of mine have they soothed and softened! and still do soothe and soften, for I can read them over and over again'.