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TO IMPROVE YOUNG PERSONS
THE ART OF LETTER-WRITING, AND IN THE
PRINCIPLES OF VIRTUE AND PIETY.
With introductory RULES and OBSERVATIONS on
writers from whom the letters are selected
« Scarcely any species of composition deserves more to be cultivated
BY THE AUTHOR OF
** LESSONS FOR YOUNG PERSONS IN HUMBLE LIFE.”
For LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, and BROWN,
Price, bound, 58.
A JUDICIOUS selection from the letters of eminent writers, may properly find place among the various publications, designed for the instruction and amusement of young persons. By presenting to their view, some of the best models, both with respect to language and sentiment, which English literature affords, it will render them considerable assistance in acquiring the epistolary art. It will, at the same time, furnish them with a pleasing diversity of reading, and enlarge their experience of the affairs of the world, without endangering their morals, or too much diverting their attention from severer studies; and, under the sancțion of highly respectable names, it will inculcate, in a peculiarly striking and influential manner, the most important principles of virtue and piety.
To accomplish these objects, is the design of the present work. The letters of which it is composed, are recommendable by the correctness, and, in many instances,
by the elegance, of their diction, and by the pure moe rality which they breathe. They have been very attentively revised, and, where necessary, abridged, in order to adapt them to the nature and limits of this work. They are taken from original British writers, not from translations, that they may exhibit the English language in its native purity, liveliness, and simplicity. They have chiefly been written in modern times, and on domestic and familiar subjects: they are, therefore, the better calculated to instruct and interest the young reader, and to afford the most useful and pleasing specimens of epistolary composition. The importance of writing letters with propriety," says Dr. Johnson, “justly claims to be considered with care; since, next to the power of pleasing with his presence, every man would wish to be able to give delight at a distance. This great art should be diligently taught, the rather because of those letters which are most useful, and by which the general business of life is transacted, there are no examples easily to be found. It seems the usual fault of those who undertake this part of education, that they propose for the exercise of their scholars, 'occasions which rarely happen, and neglect those without which life cannot proceed. It is possible to pass many years without the necessity of writing panegyrics or epithalamiums; but every man has frequent occasion to make a narrative of the minute inci
dents of common life. On these subjects, therefore, young persons should be taught to think justly, and to write clearly, neatly, and succinctly, lest they come from school into the world without any acquaintance with common affairs, and stand idle spectators of mankind, in expectation that some great event will give them an opportunity to exert their rhetoric.”
The biographical notices of the writers from whom the letters are selected, will, it is presumed, be found a useful and an interesting appendage to this work. Many of them have been extended to a greater length than was originally intended ; because it was hoped that, whether read in a continued series, or according to the order of the letters to which they immediately relate, they would prove peculiarly instructive and pleasing to young persons, and exhibit to them some striking, ennobling, and animating views of human life and human character.