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THE

HERMIT

IN

THE COUNTRY;

OR,

SKETCHES

OF

ENGLISH MANNERS.

22:04

“ Quite weary grown
Of all the follies of the town,
And seeing in all public places,
The same vain fops, and painted faces."

SOAME JENYNS.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR HENRY COLBURN & CO.

PUBLIC LIBRARY, CONDUIT STREET.

LONDON:

PRINTED BY W. SHACKELL, JOHNSON'S-COURT.

PREFACE.

A PREFACE seems now to form a necessary part of a new book, and though I have long ceased to follow fashions in general, yet I readily avail myself of the custom in the present case, since it will at least afford me an excuse should I fall into the error of some of my predecessors,—that of printing too much. To be brief then-some months ago

I received the following epistle from my friend, who undertook the management of my former publication.

MY DEAR HERMIT,

I have to acquaint you that you have electrified the inhabitants of this great city from one end to the other-young and old, rich and poor, every body is in extasies with your sketches--the duchess and her waiting maid, the peer and his valet, all declare you to be one of their own set; every one is dying to know the author, a thousand enquiries both verbal, and written, are made in a day; “Who can you be?-do you intend to avow yourself?"_" when do you publish again, &c. &c. ?” One fair lady says, surely

there is more to be written about love and matrimony.-A spark from ‘Limmer's,'hints that fashion is an everlasting and most delightful theme.—A Bibliomaniac hopes for your opinions on black letter as well as black men.-A maiden lady observes that notwithstanding your profession of“ striking at follies, and not individuals,” she has detected some severe cuts at several of her acquaintance, but so richly merited, that she hopes to find them more copiously lavished in your next work : in short, Mr. Hermit, you have hit the taste of the town, and there will be no peace till you come out with “ something new," to say nothing of my weekly postages, on the subject, which really begin to assume a formidable appearance. Now, my dear sir, though you are fortunately screened by the

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