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JOSEPH THE SECOND,
EMPEROR OF GERMANY.
HEN I compiled this little volume from
writings of one of the first ments of Britain and of human genius, I did not look out long for a protector for the inestimable treasure. To whom, said all the powers of Feeling, kindling within me-To whom should these pages that breathe the spirit of humanity in such a supereminent degree be addressed, but to that illustrious Monarch whose benignity and unparalelled philanthropy has given a charm to every enlightened quarter of the universe!
When your Majesty retires from the busy scenes of Royalty, to commune with nature and her eminent works, of which study your distinguished a&ions speak you an admirable profici
4 DEDICATION. .
I rejoice in this opportunity of teftifying my respect for such transcendent goodness! and beheve me to be with the most profound zeal,
and moft Devoted, :,Feb. 13, 1782
Blaorwelt so 4-75 12506
P R E FACE.
SELECTION of the Beauties of Sterne is
what has been looked for by a number of his admirers for some time ; well knowing they would form such a Volume as perhaps this, nor any other language, could equal. Indeed it was highly necessary on a particular score to make this fele&ion: the chaste lovers of literature were not only deprived themselves of the pleasure and inftru&ion so conspicuous in this magnificent afsemblage of Genius, but their rising offspring, whose minds it would polish to the highest perfe&tion were prevented from tasting the enjoy. ment likewise. The chaste part of the world complained so loudly of the obscenity, which taints the writings of Sterne, (and indeed, with fome reason), that those readers under their im. mediate inspection were not suffered to penetrate beyond the title-page of his Tristram S.Sand; ;his Sentimental Journey, in some degree, escaped the general censure ; though that is not intirely free from the fault complained of.
To accommodate those who are strangers to the first of these works, I have, (I hope with Some degree of judgment), extracted the most
distinguished passages on which the fun of Geniųs fhines so resplendent, that all his competitors, in his manner of writing, are lost in an eclipse of affectation and ynnatural rhapsody. I intended to have arranged them alphabetically, till I found the stories of Le Fever, the Monk, and Maria, would be too closely connected for the feeling reader, and would wound the bufom of fenfibility too deeply : I therefore placed them at a proper distance from each other..[ need not explain my motive for introducing the Sermon on the Abuses of Conscience, with the effufions of humanity throughout it; every parent and governor, I believe, (unless a bigotted Papift), will thank me.--I wish I could infuse the pleasure that attended me in compiling this little work, into the breast of the Reader, yet unacquainted with Sterne-as it is, I promise him, the hours he may devout to this great master of nature and the passions, will be marked' with more felicity, than any, since genius led him to the love of letters.
The Author's opinion of many parts of the Sacred writings may with truth be applied to a great part of his own, that there are to be found: in them, “ Sublime and noble passages, which, ( by the rules of found criticism and reason, may
be demonstrated to be truly eloquent and “ beautiful.
There is something in them so thoroughly affe&ing, and so noble and fublime withal, “ that one might challenge the writings of the « most celebrated orators of antiquity to pro
duce any thing like them." Before I conclude, I cannot help observing with an excellent writer, that “there are minds
upon which the rays of fancy may be poini ted without effea, and which no fire of senti* ment can agitate, or exalt"-May such minds never violate the Beauties of Sterne; but let them be, while the virtues find fanctuary in the hearts. of the amiable their amusement only.