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A TRIPLE DEDICATION.
1. TO THE PUBLIC.
“ In things indiff'rent Reason bids us chuse,
WERE I to address you in the accustomed declamatory strain which has long been adopted as the universal language of dedications, viz. FLATTERY, I should not only meriti thus endeavouring to impose upon your understandings, but also render myself ridiculously conspicuous, by a feeble attempt to perform that, for which, as well by nature as long established habit, I am totally dis
On the other hand, I should esteem myself equally meriting your cenfure, as being guilty of a flagrant species of ingratitude, were I to omit availing myself of so favourable an op
portunity as now presents itfelf of expressing the respect and veneration I entertain for you, resulting from the very extensive and ample encouragement with which you have crowned my indefatigable exertions to obtain your patronage, by largely contributing to the diffusion of science and rational entertainment, on such moderate terms as were heretofore unknown.
Permit me to indulge the pleasing hope, that when I assert my mind is deeply impressed with the most grateful sense of the obligatio!!, ?: fhall be.. honoured with credit. If this opinion bë ivetil: founded, to enlarge on the subject: were fuperfluous—if otherwise, the froniger arguments, the most fplendid and forcible language could
convey, would not ensure conviction; I therefore defift, fully perfuaded that the most satisfactory demonstration I can possibly exhibit of the fincerity of this declaration, will be, an inviolable adherence to that uniform line of condu& which has already secured your approbation to a degree eminent as unprecedented, and which is indeed daily rendered more evident, by a progressive increase in the number aud extent of your commands; trusting, that so long as you find my practice invariably correspondent to those professions fo frequently exhibited to your notice (from which to deviate would render me unworthy your protection) you will, in defiance of all malignant opposition, firmly persevere in the liberal support of him whose primary ambition it is, and during life shall be, to distinguish himself as,
2. To that part of the numerous body of
BOOKSELLERS of Great Britain and Ireland, whose conduct JUSTLY claims the additional title of RESPECTABLE;
Whose candour and liberality he has in numerous in. ftances experienced, and feels a fensible pleasure in thus publicly acknowledging.
And lastly (though not least in Fame)
To those fordid and malevolent BOOKSELLERS, whether they resplendent dwell in stately mansions, or in wretched huts of dark and groveling obscurity;
" I'll giye every one a smart lalh in my way."
To whose affiduous and unwearied labours to injure his reputation with their brethren and the public, he is in a considerable degree indebted for the confidence reposed in him, and the success he has been honoured with, productive of his present prosperity,
THESE MEMOIRS are, with all due discrimination of the refpective merits of cach
P R E F A CE.
“ To print or not to print ?-this is the question ;
" For who would bear th' impatient thirst of fame,
" To groan and sweat under a load of wit?
“ 'Tis Critics that makes cowards of us all.
YUSTOM, it has been repeatedly observed by many of my worthy (and some
perhaps unworthy) predecessors in authorship, has rendered a preface almost indispensibly necessary; while others again have as frequently remarked, that “ cuftom is the law of fools.” Those confiderations induced me to hesitate whether I should usher my performance into the world with a preface, and thus