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P R E FAÇ E.
We do not offer ourselves as the Instructors of the Young, without feeling all the difficulty of the task we impose on ourselves. To those for whom we write, indeed, all is new, and all they can comprehend is interesting. They are not difficult to please; nor can any thing, in itself just and true, be without its use to them. They can scarcely be expected to pause upon the defects, or accurately to weigh the arguments of what is presented for their perusal. But while we write for the young, we feel we must be criticised by the old. Endeavouring to lower our ideas and simplify our language to meet the limited capacity of our readers, we must pass under the scrutiny of matured and sated intellects, tired of hearing what we have to say, too fastidious to be pleased with such plain viands, and yet wanting, not seldom, the candour to consider that the banquet was not spread for them. Premising, therefore, that our title page means what it says, and that we offer neither amusement por instruction to those above the age for which we profess to write, we would but remind those friends, whose kindness and partiality have induced them to take an interest in our work, intended only for their children, that they have no right to complain of the scantiness of their fare, at a table to which they were not invited. By dismissing our pages to the nursery and the schoolroom, they will assign them the only place to which they make pretension:
Should some who have kindly subscribed to our work be of opinion that we have given to the whole a tone too decidedly serious, too much intermixing religion with subjects in which they are not used to find it, we can but reply that we know few studies from which it ought to be excluded. Our present and eternal interests are so inseparable, that one cannot be treated of without allusion to the other, Our object is rather to form