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IT is natural that my young readers should desire to know some particulars, of one who voluntarily comes forward to supply them with a miscellaneous collection of entertainment; and that having formed a sort of ideal acquaintance with the caterer, will give additional zest to the entertainment. I shall therefore gratify their curiosity, as far as shall be needful to produce a favourable opinion of my qualifications for the task I have undertaken.
I am the eldest daughter of a very numerous family, and received my education in the paternal house, under the inspection of one of the most excellent of mothers, to whose incessant care and admirable example, I owe the foundation of any merit I may possess. From my earliest
years she taught me the habit of industry, and employed me, whilst a child, to
assist her in instructing my younger sisters. Being thus accustomed, from my cradle, to take an interest in the improvement of children, and to watch the progress of their understandings, I have formed an habitual attachment to youth; delight in the society of young people; and am never more agreeably employed, than in contributing to their stock of knowledge and amusement.
The universal approbation with which miscellaneous essays have been received by the public, has induced me to adopt a similar form, expressly applied to the service of those entering on the journey of life; as it will give me an opportunity of expressing either my own sentiment on any subject, or of presenting such matter as I may collect from others, adapted to my purpose, which is the improvement of youth in general, though the female sex will be the object of my peculiar attention.
Lest my juvenile acquaintance should suspect, that from years and experience, they can receive nothing but dry precepts, I can assure them, that I retain the native cheerfulness of my disposition, and am more inclined to divert,
than disgust them by an ill timed gravity. My bill of fare will consist of great variety : solid food must be prepared for the hungry, but kickshaws shall be interspersed to enliven the entertainment. To lay aside a metaphor, I shall endeavour to adapt my papers to the taste of my readers, by introducing lively anecdotes, curious facts, or interesting narratives," that shall counterbalance a few of a more serious nature, to which I persuade myself, they will have no objection.
Having sketched out my plan, I trust it will be received with candour and approbation, and that its ultimate design will be crowned with