Page images


THOUGH introductory matter, at the first view, may appear very simple, yet an intelligent reader will readily admit the necessity of it: indeed, from its very general use in the world, we may term it highly essential. To prove this figuratively, we will suppose a timid visitor making a first appearance amidst a group of fashionable belles and beaux, who, in spite of every modest external, loudly join in censuring the poor stranger, because he or she happen to fall under the unlucky predicament of being one,

author says: "A composition that enters the world, with a view of improving or amusing it, has a claim to our utmost indulgence, even though it fail of the effect intended." More might be said

on the subject; but if we believe the asseverations of some eminent publishers, Essay-writing is totally out of fashion; character, or rather caricatura, is now the rage. For my own part, I am not fashionable enough to enjoy the outré part of the creation; therefore shall content myself with exposing vice only as for harmless absurdity, it should ever rest in good-nature's lap.

I doubt not but there are, among the number of those who may cast a glance on my rural building, many who prefer a more exalted and dignified structure: need such to be told, cottages were prior to palaces?-that the beauty and regula

rity of architecture were not the work of a day? This considered, candid criticism will relax a little of its severity in favor of a female candidate, whose errors, I trust, are those of the head, not the heart. Men of might! be merciful; let not the torrent of your disapprobation sweep away my humble dwelling; nor expose, with a too harsh severity, the imperfections of my fabric to eyes less discerning than your own.

Το my fair readers, I need say little; virtue and humanity are the natural growth of their bosoms : conscious that neither of these heavenly attributes will receive the least check from my Louisa, I doubt not their candor; and if my heroine merit one tear of sensibility, I shall be amply satisfied.

It remains now only to say, that, as

diversity, is the most agreeable characteristic of novel-writing, that relation must be doubly pleasing, which boasts of outlines founded on truth, and can point to living examples of suffering virtue, in the end meeting their due reward.

« PreviousContinue »