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offspring, but to give peace and lafting happiness to your people, is the most ardent pray

er of

Your faithful fubject,

and fervant,

The AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

PREFACE.

To delineate the workings of the human mind, to develope the deep-laid fchemes of the villain and the hypocrite; to set up a light to enable the young and the unthinking to fteer clear of the rocks by which they are ever furrounded; to give them a chart, by which they may fafely bend their course, and to mark on its furface the different points, where danger lurks unfeen, where quickfands may interfect their deviating way; this is, or ought to be, the motive

with which every man, who takes up the pen for the fervice of the public, should feel himself infpired.

When we look up to a Robertson and a Watson, when we perufe the claffical pages of a Johnson, when we are acquainted with the pleasing ftyle of a Goldsmith, &c. does it not appear prefumption, in a young author, to attempt to wield the pen?

To the works of these men, indeed, this country is more indebted than they are well aware; and I am perfectly convinced, that their utility would be more extensive, were they read in our academies, as they would blend inftruction and entertainment together. The pupil, induced by the pleafing recital, would find his manner of writing impercep tibly improve; and whilft, by thefe means, she became acquainted with fome of the first

perfonages

perfonages that ever appeared on the literary theatre of the world, and flored his mind with the most valuable parts of biflory, be would imbibe the style of the authors, and, in a fhort time, clothe his ideas in a drefs more elegantly perfect, than he would otherwife, perhaps, attain for many years to

come.

But while we advert to such great men as thefe, let us not lofe fight of many, who have been brilliant ornaments in the humbler walks of life. It is not alone the reciter of the actions of kings and heroes, of the great deftroyers of the human species, who is worthy of our notice, or who alone merits praije; there are many who deferve highly of mankind, from their well-directed views; which, though various in their efforts, yet verge to the fame point-the great cause of virtue. This noble caufe, whether defended by the Short,

2

Short, but expreffive essayist, who, like Mr. Vicefimus Knox, defcribes with accuracy, and by fmall detached pieces gives us, by intervals, every precept that can be wanted for the conduct of human life; or by a recital of living manners, fuch as we find in the works of the versatile Fielding, or in those of the all-comprehensive Richardson; in fhort, whatever be the inftrument, by whatever vehicle the mental phyfic is conveyed, if the veffels are cleared from obftruction, and the habit restored to its original tone, the phyfician, who prescribes, is equally entitled to a reward for his time and trouble.

The writer of the present sheets, is the rector of an obfcure country village; and has employed his leisure hours in sketching out different views of men and things, with this ardent wifh, that should they prove beneath

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