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lation, I shall barely request the honour of inscribing the following pages to Mr. Wickham.

I would apologize for intruding, amid the variety of affairs of national importance that claim your attention, did I not know that literary pursuits form a relaxation not beneath the attention of superior minds.

I have the honour to be,
Very respefully,

Your most humble

And obedient servant,


DUBLIN, 20th JANUARY, 1803.


AFTER times like those which are now happily past, during which occurrences the most important daily solicited the public attention-When the human mind was engaged in contemplating the tremendous collision, not of states and empires only, but of the great masses of mankind, classed, by similarity or opposition of opinion, in points which constitute the happiness of civil society, not



by local position-When times such as these are succeeded by the calm of tranquillity, a writer on subjects of general literature, who intrudes on the public attention, may require the less apology,

Were prefaces to books paid, in general, much attention to, I might here, at fome length, detail many weighty reasons for the present publication. But as such details might run a considerable risk of not being read at all, I think it better simply to say, that the author threw together the following observations, because he believes their subjects have not, as yet, been much confidered.

He publishes them, because he hopes, if they do not instruct the reader, they may, at least, entertain him.


He had it in contemplation, by adding a few more Essays, on fimilar detached subjects, to have increased his little volume to a more respectable size. But dreading, lest a young author, on his first appearance before the public, might, by a formidable bulk, deter, instead of conciliating, inspection, he was determined that, however unimportantly he detained the reader's attention, he would, at least, not fatigue it.

DUBLIN, 20th JANUARY, 1803.

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