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I am told that I must write a Preface
and never was mortal in a more pitiable pre
dicament than I am, in consequence of this
necessity! I neither know what to say or who
to address !-But, as “ l'appetit vient en man
geant" I trust that ideas may flow as I write.
If I plead youth and inexperience as an excuse
for my numerous errors, I shall be told that
I had no business to turn Authoress.
crave the kind indulgence of reviewers, they will marvel at my audacity ;—then, if I address
the public-of what may my Public consist?
Perhaps of sone half dozen readers, who may
manage to wade on to the last page! But I will
hope that they may be as many as
make up a jury; and knowing the
towards mercy which my countrymen have
ever evinced, I throw myself on their leniency,
and trust they will pronounce an indulgent
verdict. I can only say, that I felt every word
I wrote, and, therefore, I may hope to awaken
some kindred feelings in kindred bosoms; for
although it is the fashion to talk much of the
heartlessness and coldness of the world, I do
believe I know that there is far more thought
lessness than absence of heart in this same
world, and that deep feeling, genuine kindness, and noble generosity are much more
common than misanthropists will allow.
And now my fair and gentle countrywomen
my brave, gallant and gallant countrymen, I
throw inyself on your mercy; and who ever
trusted you and was deceived ?
With honest pride swelling my heart at
being able to claim the proud title of your
compatriot, I take my leave of you.
WITH THE SINCEREST ESTEEM AND AFFECTION,
MISS JANE PORTER;
WHO HAS KNOWN ME FROM MY INFANCY ; WHO HAS OFFERED A BRIGHT MODEL FOR IMITATION,
AS A DAUGHTER, A SISTER, AND A FRIEND;WHOSE GENIUS IS EQUALLED BY HER ENDEARING VIRTUES,
WHO IS THE KIND PATRONESS OF MERIT, THE ADVOCATE OF MILD, GENUINE PIETY, AND WHOSE
OWN GREATNESS, HAS EVER RENDERED HER INACCESSIBLE TO THE PETTY FEELINGS OF RIVALRY