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A TALE OF THE NEUTRAL GROUND.
BY J. FENIMORE COOPER.
" Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME
Southern District of New York, ss.
• Breathes there a man, with soul so dead,
This is my own, my native land ?'
1 Avail myself with great pleasure of the opportunity that is offered to me, of again manifesting the esteem which I entertain for you. I repeat the assurances of my regard the more readily, because there are those who are anxious to interpret some of the incidents in this fiction to the disadvantage of the British character. To you, who know my private sentiments on all subjects, it will be unnecessary to say, that national illiberality is not among my foibles; or that I am in the smallest degree insensible to the many valuable qualities which form the ground-work of an Englishman's virtues. I think the book itself is my justification on this point. If there be any individual criminality portrayed, that is not to be traced to the faults of our common nature, under the operation of peculiar circumstances, I am not conscious of it; and I am aware that all Englishmen, who, like yourself, are educated, liberal, and intelligent, will realily admit, that less offensive matter could not easily be introduced in a tale, professedly written with a view to draw thc imaginations of our read