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In writing the following sheets, my design has been to blend instruction with amusement; to give “ Virtue its own feature, Vice its own image;" and to show the necessity of all evil propensities being crushed in infancy; and that children of good natural abilities and dispositions may be led to tread the paths of truth and rectitude, as easily as they may be suffered to imbibe erroneous opinions; which, like the weeds in the Scripture, that choked the corn, destroy the virtuous principles implanted in them by their Creator. To inculcate a love of study, industry, charity, duty to parents, &c. has been my wish; and equally to discourage idleness, dissatisfaction with our situation,
vanity, falsehood, and arrogance. Should I be happy enough to awaken in the susceptible bosom of uncorrupted childhood any of the former, how greatly will my efforts be repaid ! Nor will my recompense be less, should I crush in the bud any of the hydras last mentioned; the least of which gives existence to as many crimes, as that fictitious serpent is said to have possessed heads.
In my choice of the historical sketches, I have selected such as I thought might interest
young minds sufficiently to make them the more readily peruse the annals of their country; as I have generally observed that children, when possessed of what they consider amusing information, read history the more willingly; and thus in seeking the shadow, AMUSEMENT, frequently find the reality, KNOWLEDGE.