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Every practised reader can give a shrewd guess at the contents of a book from its external appearance. No lady of common experience in such matters would look for a novel in the rolled bands and Russian skin of a splay-footed folio : nor on the other hand, would any grave antiquarian expect to find an essay on Henry the Seventh's chapel, lurking in blue boards and puny dimensions of a duodecimɔ. Every work has its peculiar costume, from the beau poetry, who comés tricked out in all sorts of finery, to the book of common prayer, who is for the most part clad in sober black as the emblem of his profession; sometimes, indeed, he appears in a red inorocco coat with a gold band about his neck, but this is a strange violation of decorum, and is well worthy of reprehension. Upon this principle, therefore, I hope the purchasers of my present work will clothe it in calf-skin, a sort of modest habit that may best pourtray its pretensions. Much also is to be learnt from the title of a work, though now and then a hungry wight of an author, whose appetite is greater than his honesty, contrives to outwit the most cautious reader: this he effects by setting up a false bill of fare, promising, like the sigu of a country inn, entertainment for man and beast, but neither man nor beast is cunning enough to find it. Indeed I have known a young lady seduced into reading a sermon when she expected to find farce, and many a grave divine cheated into the perusal of a farce, when he thought to pore over a sermon.
The most experienced reader is liable to be cheated, which by the bye accounts for so many young ladies very innocently singing “ Fly not yet,” when they only intended to chaunt a sober hymn for general edification.