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LONDON:

PRINTED TOR t. C. AND J. RIVINCTON, ST. PAWL'S CHURCH YARD.

180.9.

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PREFACE.

1 HE witty author of Joseph Andrews describes the character of Beau Didapper, by negatives, stating the qualities he did not possess, before he enumerates his real qualifications. We follow the same example in describing the contents of these little volumes. First, then, they do not form a series of Essays in regular chronological order, nor always in the exact words of the respective writers; secondly, they do not contain in every case whole pieces, nor do they give any of the Papers published in the great Selection of British Essayists. Having apprised our reader of what he ought not to seek, we will next inform him what he may find. In making this Collection it has been our object to place in the hands of the general reader some of those detached but valuable writings which are buried in bulky volumes, or lost in the mass of our fugitive pieces; to separate from systematic treatises some of those portions which are peculiarly applicable to the purposes of common life, and to select useful and practical Essays from those writers whose entire works cannot safely be trusted in the hands of inexperienced youth; and thus in a small compass to form an elegant

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