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INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

xix

sirable that Youth should be enabled to judge for themselves in articles of Literature.--at least so far as to prevent imposition or to avoid that waste of time which must be occasioned by sitting down to the perusal of every book which happens to issue from a teeming press. Hu. man life is too short to be thus squandered away in laborious idleness. Endeavour, there. fore, by understanding the nature of Genius, to know what ought to be read, and be sedulous to acquire a taste or relish for good writing in all its various departments. Thus will your faculties be enlarged--your sphere of enjoyment extended, and an improved mind will be most likely to receive, with cordiality, the doctrines, precepts and institutions of our common Chris. tianity. True knowledge and true religion are closely allied. Their union, in spite of fanati. cism and superstition, yields the best guidance through life...and affords the best preparation for a happy in

ortality! Pullin's Row,

J. E. Islington.

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utility of a good education, nor can the mind be too early inured to habits of composition. Prose and Poetry afford an ample field for the inventive powers of man. The writers who amongst us Britons have most excelled in these departments are well known. Let their effusions be carefully studied. Thus will a portion of their spirit be imbibed, and a commendable imitation of their excellencies generated.

Permit me, here, to recommend to young writers a topic of advice which cannot fail to be of service to them. It is this-- that in their aspiration after literary excellence, it should be confined chiefly to one particular depart. ment. The ambition of youth is flaming and indiscriminate. It hurries from object to object, with an astonishing celerity. It never suffers itself to consider the qualities of the sub. ject to be investigated.--Glaucing at every thing it gives not time to scrutinize any thing. How is it possible that such an individual can excel in the departments of literature!

It must nevertheless be confessed that cha. racters have appeared in the learned world possessing a genius of a most extensive nature. Of this fact, Voltaire is a striking instance, though it has been remarked, that it would have been better had he written less, and with greater accuracy. The French genius is dis. tinguished for its fertility, but in solidity is deemed inferior to the productions of Britain. At the same time we would repeat our advice to young writers-Confine yourselves chiefly to one particular department. Think not to grasp every thing before your ability can ensure your success. Consult the dictates of your minds, and ascertain the objects to which you are most inclined. Exercise your genius, but do not

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