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the window; and that this first and important difficulty being surmounted; every thing else, connected with its rew putation, will follow of course.
It will receive condemnation or praise-it matters not which from the reviewers; be turned over, thrown down, taken up again, cut open, read, and returned to the shop with the usual and flattering marks of having seen service; siz a leaf or two torn out, scratches of pins, scorings of thumb. nails, and divers marginal illustrations, executed by means of a crow-quill, or a black-lead pencil.
But if, contrary to these suggestions of a vain heart, it should be the lot of my book to take rank amongst the chartæ ineptæ ; to lie in cold obstruction on the highest shelf, and constitute a sort of fee-simple to the first spider that gets possession of it, I must console myself with the reflection of having tried to merit a happier fate.
Before I examine the effects of which
the light reading alluded to may be thought productive, I shall arrange the different orders of works of fancy under their proper heads.
Thus, to borrow a phrase from the system of the naturalist, the word novel is a generical term ; of which romances, histories, memoirs, letters, tales, lives, and adventures, are the species. And these again have their appropriate characters; and are either merry, mournful, or of a mixed kind.
Of these, all, except the romance, profess to be resemblances of truth: that is to say, representations of manners and persons actually living, or who have lived on this our planet. . And their object, when they happen to have one, is, or should be, to teach us, by virtuous and vicious examples, what
we ought to follow, and what to avoid.
With regard to such productions as are termed romances, it can hardly be expected that I should do more than their authors, and discover a design of instructing the reader where no such design is to be found: of these truly enormous performances, therefore, I shall say
little or nothing;“ but proceed to consider the nature of the novel, properly so called: wishing it, however, to be understood that there are some
volumes passing under that name which are in most points unexceptionable ; and of which I shall take notice before I
The writer and the reader of an or
dinary novel seem to have entered into a mutual agreement as to the quality of the ingredients used in its composition: the chief of wlrich is, a display of the passion of love, not only in all its varieties and all its virulence, but set forthy with a strength of colouring ratlter more
Both parties appear to have adopted for their motto, and in a literal senseomnia vincit Amor : and not confining the triumphs of this potent deity to the