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Her design, however, has not been to supply a methodical text-book for regular study, but a volume for reading classes, on the topics more accurately treated of in text-books, with a view to add to their general interest; at the same time, to render the book as useful as possible, she has named the best text-books on the several subjects, in the hope that these and their auxiliary questions will be pursued with system, as the genius of the scholar, and the judgment of their governess may direct.

As the Authoress aspires to no literary distinction, and as she considers it the proper part of woman to be unobtrusive, so she has not prefixed her name to this volume, though she presumes she will soon be recognized by many of her pupils, who now mix with the world, and be proclaimed in the extensive circle of her connexions. If celebrity be thus forced upon her, she will bear it with modesty, but she will not court that which, at her time of life, would be so useless; and which, under any circumstances, she has always considered as an irksome bondage.

Her primary object being utility, and her secondary one, to bestow a tribute of affection where so much was due, and so much felt, she has affected no quality in the volume beyond its real design. Her style has not been laboured, and she has maintained that middle kind which she always has

taught and cultivated, in which the intention of the writer is proposed to be expressed with ease and perspicacity. If she has any model, it has been the Letters of Mrs. Chapone, and the Essays of her friend, the late Mrs. Barbauld. In the substance of her work, she may claim her full share of originality; yet, in some letters, she has engrafted passages from Watts and Paley, and in some articles on the Church service, she has abridged from Pearson and Beveridge, as the best authorities on the respective subjects.

She found that the materials were so abundant, that she might easily have expanded them into two interesting volumes, but this would have been to defeat her own purpose; for a single volume is far more convenient in schools, and price is often an object of consideration. It is, besides, more advantageous that an approved volume should be read by young persons two or three times, than that a larger work should be perused but once, and forgotten as soon as read.

The opinions to be found in the work are those either of standard Authors, on standard subjects, or of the most recent Authors on subjects of improving knowledge. The experience of the Authoress has led her to suspect the systems of popular writers, many of which she has seen flourish for their day, and afterwards sink into merited obscurity. She

has, therefore, inculcated what alone is reasonable, for she is not aware of any other practical tests of truth, but the Holy Scriptures, Geometry, and her own judgment. If she has erred in any respect, she will be happy to be corrected by better reasons, enforced with courtesy, for she has no other objects but the promulgation of truth, and the promotion of Religion, Virtue, and Useful Knowledge.

The volume will, it is to be presumed, serve as a general READING CLASS BOOK, in all Female Seminaries, where enlargement of the understanding, and expansion of knowledge, are primary objects. It is, in truth, a commentary upon, and pleasing companion to, the UNIVERSAL PRECEPTOR, without its didactic precision, and necessary formality of method; while the freedom of the epistolary style, and the easy manner which characterises its discussions, will, probably, render its use as extensive as the liberal and genteel education of females. Such, at least, are the anxious hopes, and the laudable ambition, of the authoress.

Middlesex, October, 1826.

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