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THE THIRD EDITION.
PRINTING, by multiplying copies at will, affords to writers great opportunity of receiving instruction from every quarter. The author of this treatise, having always been of opinion that the general taste is seldom wrong, was resolved from the beginning to submit to it with entire resignation: its severest disapprobation might have incited him to do better, but never to complain. Finding now the judga ment of the public to be favourable, ought he not to draw satisfaction from it? He would be devoid of sensibility were he not greatly satisfied. Many criticisms have indeed reached his ear; but they are candid and benevolent, if not always just. Gratitude, therefore, had there been no other motive, must have roused his utmost industry, to clear this edition from all the defects of the former, so far as suggested by others, or discovered by himself. In a work containing many particulars, both new and abstruse, it was difficult to express every article with sufficient perspicuity; and, after all the pains bestowed, there remained certain passages which are generally thought obscure. The author, giving an attentive ear to every censure of that kind, has, in the
present edition, renewed his efforts to correct every defect: and he would gladly hope that he has not been altogether unsuccessful. The truth is, that a writer, who must be possessed of the thought before he can put it into words, is but ill qualified to judge whether the expression be sufficiently clear to others; in that particular, he cannot avoid the taking on him to judge for the reader, who can much better judge for himself.
2. Beauty of Language with respect to Sig-