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finished composition; and as they must be transmitted across the Atlantic for publication, he will have to trust to others to correct the frequent errors of the press. Should his writings, however, with all their imperfections, be well received, he cannot conceal that it would be a source of the purest gratification; for though he does not aspire to those high honours which are the rewards of loftier intellects; yet it is the dearest wish of his heart to have a secure and cherished, though humble corner in the good opinions and kind feelings of his countrymen.

London, 1819

ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE

FIRST ENGLISH EDITION.

The following desultory papers are part of a series written in this country, but published in America. The author is aware of the austerity with which the writings of his countrymen have hitherto been treated by British critics; he is conscious, too, that much of the contents of his papers can be interesting only in the eyes of American readers. It was not his intention, therefore, to have them reprinted in this country. He has, however, observed several of them from time to time inserted in periodical works of merit, and has understood, that it was probable they would be republished in a collective form. He has been induced, therefore, to revise and bring them forward himself, that they may at least come correctly before the public. Should they be deemed of sufficient importance to attract the attention of critics, he solicits for them that courtesy and candour which a stranger has some right to claim who presents himself at the threshold of a hospitable nation.

February, 1820.

THE

AUTHOR'S ACCOUN

OF

HIMSELF.

I am of this mind with Homer, that as the snaile that crept out of her shel was turned eftsoones into a toad, and thereby was forced to make a stoole to sit on; so the traveller that stragleth from his owne country is in a short time transformed into so monstrous a shape, that he is faine to alter his mansion with his manners, and to live where he can, not where he would.-Lyly's Euphues.

I was always fond of visiting new scenes, and observing strange characters and manners. Even when a mere child I began my travels, and made many tours of discovery into foreign parts and unknown regions of my native city, to the frequent alarm of my parents, and the emolument of the town crier. As I grew into boyhood, I extended the range of my ob- . servations. My holiday afternoons were spent in rambles about the surrounding country. I made myself familiar with all its places famous in history or fable. I knew every spot where a murder or robbery had been committed, or a ghost seen. I visited the neighbouring villages, and added greatly to my stock of knowledge, by noting their habits and customs, and conversing with their sages and great men. I even journeyed one long summer's day to the summit of the most distant hill, from whence I stretched un my eye over many a mile of terra incognita, and land was astonished to find how vast a globe I inhabited.

This rambling propensity strengthened with my years. Books of voyages and travels became my passion, and in devouring their contents, I neglected the regular exercises of the school. How wistfully would I wander about the pier heads in fine weather, and watch the parting ships, bound to distant climes -with what longing eyes would I gaze after their lessening sails, and wast myself in imagination to the ends of the earth!

Farther reading and thinking, though they brought this vague inclination into more reasonable bounds, only served to make it more decided. I visited various parts of my own country; and had I been merely influenced by a love of fine scenery, I should have felt little desire to seek elsewhere its gratification: for on no country have the charms of nature been more prodigally lavished. Her mighty lakes,

like oceans of liquid silver; her mountains, with
awr their bright aerial tin; her valleys, tecming with
study, wild fertility; her tremendous cataracts, thundering

in their solitudes; her boundless plains, waving with
spontaneous verdure; her broad deep rivers, rolling
in solemn silence to the ocean; her trackless forests,
where vegetation puts forth all its magnificence; her
skies, kindling with the magic of summer clouds and
glorious sunsi:ine:-no, never need an American
look beyond his own country for the sublime and
beautiful of natural scenery.

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