Mr Croftangry's Preface.

           Indite, my muse, indite,
           Subp<oe>na'd is thy lyre,
           The praises to requite
           Which rules of court require.
                         _Probationary Odes_.

  The concluding a literary undertaking, in whole
or in part, is, to the inexperienced at least, attended
with an irritating titillation, like that which
attends on the healing of a wound---a prurient
impatience, in short, to know what the world in
general, and friends in particular, will say to our
labours.  Some authors, I am told, profess an
oyster-like indifference upon this subject; for my
own part, I hardly believe in their sincerity.  
Others may acquire it from habit; but in my poor
opinion, a neophyte like myself must be for a long
time incapable of such _sang froid_.

  Frankly I was ashamed to feel how childishly
I felt on the occasion.  No person could have said
prettier things than myself upon the importance of
stoicism concerning the opinion of others, when
their applause or censure refers to literary character
only; and I had determined to lay my work
before the public, with the same unconcern with
which the ostrich lays her eggs in the sand, giving
herself no farther trouble concerning the incubation,
but leaving to the atmosphere to bring forth
the young, or otherwise, as the climate shall serve.  
But though an ostrich in theory, I became in practice
a poor hen, who has no sooner made her deposit,
but she runs cackling about, to call the attention
of every one to the wonderful work which she
has performed.

  As soon as I became possessed of my first volume,
neatly stitched up and boarded, my sense of
the necessity of communicating with some one became
ungovernable.  Janet was inexorable, and
seemed already to have tired of my literary confidence;
for whenever I drew near the subject,
after evading it as long as she could, she made, under
some pretext or other, a bodily retreat to the
kitchen or the cockloft, her own peculiar and inviolate
domains.  My publisher would have been a natural
resource; but he understands his business too
well, and follows it too closely, to desire to enter
into literary discussions, wisely considering, that
he who has to sell books has seldom leisure to read
them.  Then my acquaintance, now that I have
lost Mrs Bethune Baliol, are of that distant and
accidental kind, to whom I had not face enough to
communicate the nature of my uneasiness, and who
probably would only have laughed at me had I made
any attempt to interest them in my labours.

  Reduced thus to a sort of despair, I thought of
my friend and man of business Mr Fairscribe.  His
habits, it was true, were not likely to render him
indulgent to light literature, and, indeed, I had
more than once noticed his daughters, and especially
my little songstress, whip into her reticule
what looked very like a circulating library volume,
as soon as her father entered the room.  Still he was
not only my assured, but almost my only friend,
and I had little doubt that he would take ail interest
in the volume for the sake of the author,
which the work itself might fail to inspire.  I sent
him, therefore, the book, carefully scaled up, with
an intimation that I requested the favour of his
opinion upon the contents, of which I affected to
talk in the depreciatory style, which calls for point-blank
contradiction, if your correspondent possess
a grain of civility.

  This communication took place on a Monday,
and I daily expected (what I was ashamed to anticipate
by volunteering my presence, however sure
of a welcome) an invitation to eat an egg, as was
my friend's favourite phrase, or a card to drink tea
with Misses Fairscribe, or a provocation to breakfast,
at least, with my hospitable friend and benefactor,
and to talk over the contents of my enclosure.
But the hours and days passed on from
Monday  till Saturday, and I had no acknowledgment
whatever that my packet had reached its destination.
``This is very unlike my good friend's
punctuality,'' thought I; and having again and
again vexed James, my male attendant, by a close
examination concerning the time, place, and delivery,
I had only to strain my imagination to conceive
reasons for my friend's silence.  Sometimes
I thought that his opinion of the work had proved
so unfavourable, that he was averse to hurt my
feelings by communicating it---sometimes, that,
escaping his hands to whom it was destined, it had
found its way into his writing-chamber, and was
become the subject of criticism to his smart clerks
and conceited apprentices. ``'Sdeath!'' thought I,
``if I were sure of this, I would------''

  ``And what would you do?'' said Reason, after
a few moments' reflection.  ``You are ambitious of
introducing your book into every writing and reading
chamber in Edinburgh, and yet you take fire at
the thoughts of its being criticised by Mr Fairscribe's
young people? Be a little consistent, for

  ``I will be consistent,'' said I doggedly; ``but for
all that, I will call on Mr Fairscribe this evening.''

  I hastened my dinner, donn'd my great-coat,
(for the evening threatened rain,) and went to Mr
Fairscribe's house.  The old domestic opened the
door cautiously, and before I asked the question,
said, ``Mr Fairscribe is at home, sir; but it is
Sunday night.'' Recognising, however, my face
and voice, he opened the door wider, admitted me,
and conducted me to the parlour, where I found
Mr Fairscribe and the rest of his family engaged
in listening to a sermon by the late Mr Walker of
Edinburgh,* which was read by Miss Catherine

*   [Robert Walker, the colleague and rival of Dr Hugh  Blair,
    in St Giles's Church, Edinburgh.]

with unusual distinctness, simplicity, and judgment.
Welcomed as a friend of the house, I had
nothing for it but to take my seat quietly, and
making a virtue of necessity, endeavour to derive
my share of the benefit arising from an excellent
sermon.  But I am afraid Mr Walker's force of
logic and precision of expression were somewhat
lost upon me.  I was sensible I had chosen an improper
time to disturb Mr Fairscribe, and when
the discourse was ended, I rose to take my leave,
somewhat hastily, I believe.  ``A cup of tea, Mr
Croftangry?'' said the young lady. ``You will
wait and take part of a Presbyterian supper?'' said
Mr Fairscribe.---``Nine o'clock---I make it a point
of keeping my father's hours on Sunday at e'en.  
Perhaps Dr ------ [naming an excellent clergy-
man] may look in.''

  I made my apology for declining his invitation;
and I fancy my unexpected appearance, and hasty
retreat, had rather surprised my friend, since,
instead of accompanying me to the door, he conducted
me into his own apartment.

  ``What is the matter,'' he said, ``Mr Croftangry?
This is not a night for secular business, but
if any thing sudden or extraordinary has happened------''

  ``Nothing in the world,'' said I, forcing myself
upon confession, as the best way of clearing myself
out of the scrape,---``only---only I sent you a little
parcel, and as you are so regular in acknowledging
letters and communications, I---I thought
it might have miscarried---that's all.''

  My friend laughed heartily, as if he saw into
and enjoyed my motives and my confusion. ``Safe?
---it came safe enough,'' he said.  ``The wind of
the world always blows its vanities into haven.  
But this is the end of the session, when I have little
time to read any thing printed except Inner-House
papers; yet if you will take your kail with
us next Saturday, I will glance over your work,
though I am sure I am no competent judge of such

  With this promise I was fain to take my leave,
not without half persuading myself that if once the
phlegmatic lawyer began my lucubrations, he would
not be able to rise from them till he had finished
the perusal, nor to endure an interval betwixt his
reading the last page, and requesting an interview
with the author.

  No such marks of impatience displayed themselves.
Time, blunt or keen, as my friend Joanna
says, swift or leisurely, held his course; and on the
appointed Saturday, I was at the door precisely as
it struck four.  The dinner hour, indeed, was five
punctually; but what did I know but my friend
might want half an hour's conversation with me
before that time? I was ushered into an empty
drawing-room, and, from a needle-book and work-basket,
hastily abandoned, I had some reason to
think I interrupted my little friend, Miss Katie,
in some domestic labour more praiseworthy than
elegant.  In this critical age, filial piety must hide
herself in a closet, if she has a mind to darn her
father's linen.

  Shortly after, I was the more fully convinced
that I had been too early an intruder, when a
wench came to fetch away the basket, and recommend
to my courtesies a red and green gentleman
in a cage, who answered all my advances by croaking
out, ``You're a fool---you're a fool, I tell you!''
until, upon my word, I began to think the creature
was in the right.  At last my friend arrived, a little
overheated.  He had been taking a turn at golf,
to prepare him for ``colloquy sublime.'' And
wherefore not? since the game, with its variety of
odds, lengths, bunkers, teed balls, and so on may
be no inadequate representation of the hazards attending
literary pursuits.  In particular, those formidable
buffets, which make one ball spin through
the air like a rifle-shot, and strike another down
into the very earth it is placed upon, by the maladroitness
or the malicious purpose of the player---
what are they but parallels to the favourable or
depreciating notices of the reviewers, who play at
golf with the publications of the season, even as
Altisidora, in her approach to the gates of the
infernal regions, saw the devils playing at racket
with the new books of Cervantes' days.

  Well, every hour has its end.  Five o'clock came,
and my friend, with his daughters, and his handsome
young son, who, though fairly buckled to the
desk, is every now and then looking over his shoulder
at a smart uniform, set seriously about satisfying
the corporeal wants of nature; while I, stimulated
by a nobler appetite after fame, wished that
the touch of a magic wand could, without all the
ceremony of picking and choosing, carving and
slicing, masticating and swallowing, have transported
a _quantum sufficit_ of the good things on my
friend's hospitable board, into the stomachs of those
who surrounded it, to be there at leisure converted
into chyle, while their thoughts were turned on
higher matters.  At length all was over.  But the
young ladies sat still, and talked of the music of
the Freischutz, for nothing else was then thought
of; so we discussed the wild hunters' song, and the
tame hunters' song, &c. &c. in all which my young
friends were quite at home.  Luckily for me, all this
horning and hooping drew on some allusion to the
Seventh Hussars, which gallant regiment, I observe,
is a more favourite theme with both Miss Catherine
and her brother than with my old friend, who
presently looked at his watch, and said something
significantly to Mr James about office hours.  The
youth got up with the ease of a youngster that would
be thought a man of fashion rather than of business,
and endeavoured, with some success, to walk out of
the room, as if the locomotion was entirely voluntary;
Miss Catherine and her sisters left us at the
same time, and now, thought I, my trial comes on.

  Reader, did you ever, in the course of your life,
cheat the courts of justice and lawyers, by agreeing
to refer a dubious and important question to
the decision of a mutual friend? If so, you may
have remarked the relative change which the arbiter
undergoes in your estimation, when raised,
though by your own free choice, from an ordinary
acquaintance, whose opinions were of as little consequence
to you as yours to him, into a superior
personage, on whose decision your fate must depend
_pro tanto_, as my friend Mr Fairscribe would
say.  His looks assume a mysterious if not a minatory
expression; his hat has a loftier air, and his
wig, if he wears one, a more formidable buckle.

  I felt, accordingly, that my good friend Fairscribe,
on the present occasion, had acquired something
of a similar increase of consequence.  But a
week since, he had, in my opinion, been indeed an
excellent-meaning man, perfectly competent to
every thing within his own profession, but immured
at the same time among its forms and technicalities,
and as incapable of judging of matters of
taste as any mighty Goth whatsoever, of or belonging
to the ancient Senate House of Scotland.  But
what of that? I had made him my judge by my
own election; and I have often observed that an
idea of declining such a reference, on account of
his own consciousness of incompetency, is, as it
perhaps ought to be, the last which occurs to the
referee himself.  He that has a literary work subjected
to his judgment by the author, immediately
throws his mind into a critical attitude, though the
subject be one which he never before thought of.  
No doubt the author is well qualified to select his
own judge, and why should the arbiter whom he
has chosen doubt his own talents for condemnation
or acquittal, since he has been doubtless picked out
by his friend, from his indubitable reliance on their
competence? Surely the man who wrote the production
is likely to know the person best qualified
to judge of it.

  Whilst these thoughts crossed my brain, I kept
my eyes fixed on my good friend, whose motions
appeared unusually tardy to me, while he ordered
a bottle of particular claret, decanted it with scrupulous
accuracy with his own hand, caused his old
domestic to bring a saucer of olives, and chips of
toasted bread, and thus, on hospitable thoughts
intent, seemed to me to adjourn the discussion which
I longed to bring on, yet feared to precipitate.

  ``He is dissatisfied,'' thought I, ``and is ashamed
to show it, afraid doubtless of hurting my feelings.  
What had I to do to talk to him about any thing
save charters and sasines?---Stay, he is going to

  ``We are old fellows now, Mr Croftangry,''
said my landlord; ``scarcely so fit to take a poor
quart of claret between us, as we would have been
in better days to take a pint, in the old Scottish
liberal acceptation of the phrase.  Maybe you
would have liked me to have kept James to help
us. But if it is not on a holyday or so, I think it
is best he should observe office hours.''

  Here the discourse was about to fall.  I relieved
it by saying, Mr James was at the happy time of
life, when he had better things to do than to sit
over the bottle. ``I suppose,'' said I, ``your son
is a reader.''

  ``Um---yes---James may be called a reader in a
sense; but I doubt there is little solid in his studies
---poetry and plays, Mr Croftangry, all nonsense---
they set his head a-gadding after the army, when
he should be minding his business.''

  ``I suppose, then, that romances do not find
much more grace in your eyes than dramatic and
poetical compositions?''

  ``Deil a bit, deil a bit, Mr Croftangry, nor historical
productions either.  There is too much fighting
in history, as if men only were brought into
this world to send one another out of it.  It nourishes
false notions of our being, and chief and
proper end, Mr Croftangry.''

  Still all this was general, and I became determined
to bring our discourse to a focus.  ``I am
afraid, then, I have done very ill to trouble you
with my idle manuscripts, Mr Fairscribe; but you
must do me the justice to remember, that I had
nothing better to do than to amuse myself by writing
the sheets I put into your hands the other day.
I may truly plead---

     `I left no calling for this idle trade.' ''

  ``I cry your mercy, Mr Croftangry,'' said my
old friend, suddenly recollecting---``yes, yes, I
have been very rude; but I had forgotten entirely
that you had taken a spell yourself at that idle
man's trade.''

  ``I suppose,'' replied I, ``you, on your side,
have been too _busy_ a man to look at my poor

  ``No, no,'' said my friend, ``I am not so bad as
that neither.  I have read them bit by bit, just as
I could get a moment's time, and I believe I shall
very soon get through them.''

  ``Well, my good friend?'' said 1, interrogatively.

  And ``_Well_, Mr Croftangry,'' cried he, ``I really
think you have got over the ground very tolerably
well.  I have noted down here two or three bits
of things, which I presume to be errors of the press,
otherwise it might be alleged, perhaps, that you
did not fully pay that attention to the grammatical
rules which one would desire to see rigidly observed.''

  I looked at my friend's notes, which, in fact,
showed, that in one or two grossly obvious passages,
I had left uncorrected such solecisms in

  ``Well, well, I own my fault; but, setting apart
these casual errors, how do you like the matter and
the manner of what I have been writing, Mr Fairscribe?''

  ``Why,'' said my friend, pausing, with more
grave and important hesitation than I thanked him
for, ``there is not much to be said against the
manner.  The style is terse and intelligible, Mr
Croftangry, very intelligible; and that I consider
as the first point in every thing that is intended to
be understood.  There are, indeed, here and there
some flights and fancies, which I comprehended
with difficulty; but I got to your meaning at last.  
There are people that are like ponies; their judgments
cannot go fast, but they go sure.''

  ``That is a  pretty  clear  proposition,  my  friend;
but then how did you like the meaning when you
did get at it? or was that, like some ponies, too
difficult to catch, and, when catched, not worth the

  ``I am far from saying that, my dear sir, in respect
it would be downright uncivil; but since you
ask my opinion, I wish you could have thought
about something more appertaining to civil policy,
than all this bloody work about shooting and dirking,
and downright hanging.  I am told it was the
Germans who first brought in such a practice of
choosing their heroes out of the Porteous Roll;*

*    List of criminal indictments, so termed in Scotland.

but, by my faith, we are like to be upsides with
them.  The first was, as I am credibly informed,
Mr Scolar, as they call him; a scholar-like piece
of work he has made of it, with his Robbers and

  ``Schiller,''  said I, ``my  dear  sir,  let  it   be

  ``Shiller, or what you like,'' said Mr Fairscribe;
``I found the book where I wish I had found a
better one, and that is, in Kate's work-basket.  I
sat down, and, like an old fool, began to read; but
there, I grant, you have the better of Schiller, Mr

  ``I should be glad, my dear sir, that you really
think I have _approached_ that admirable author;
even your friendly partiality ought not to talk of
my having _excelled_ him.''

  ``But I do say you  have  excelled  him,  Mr  Croftangry,
in a most material particular.  For surely
a book of amusement should be something that one
can take up and lay down at pleasure; and I can
say justly, I was never at the least loss to put
aside these sheets of yours when business came in
the way.  But, faith, this Shiller, sir, does not let
you off so easily, I forgot one appointment on
particular business, and I wilfully broke through
another, that I might stay at home and finish his
confounded book, which, after all, is about two brothers,
the greatest rascals I ever heard of.  The
one, sir, goes near to murder his own father, and
the other (which you would think still stranger)
sets about to debauch his own wife.''

  ``I find, then, Mr Fairscribe, that you have no
taste for the romance of real life, no pleasure in
contemplating those spirit-rousing impulses, which
force men of fiery passions upon great crimes and
great virtues?''

  ``Why, as to that, I am not just so sure.  But
then, to mend the matter,'' continued the critic,
``you have brought in Highlanders into every story,
as if you were going back again, _velis et remis_, into
the old days of Jacobitism.  I must speak my plain
mind, Mr Croftangry.  I cannot tell what innovations
in Kirk and State may be now proposed, but
our fathers were friends to both, as they were settled
at the glorious Revolution, and liked a tartan
plaid as little as they did a white surplice.  I wish
to Heaven, all this tartan fever bode well to the
Protestant succession and the Kirk of Scotland.''

  ``Both too well settled, I hope, in the minds of
the subject,'' said I, ``to be affected by old remembrances,
on which we look back as on the portraits
of our ancestors, without recollecting, while we
gaze on them, any of the feuds by which the originals
were animated while alive.  But most happy
should I be to light upon any topic to supply the
Place of the Highlands, Mr Fairscribe.  I have been
just reflecting that the theme is becoming a little
exhausted, and your experience may perhaps supply---''

  ``Ha, ha, ha---my experience supply!'' interrupted
Mr Fairscribe, with a laugh of derision.  
``Why, you might as well ask my son James's experience
to supply a case about thirlage.  No, no,
my good friend, I have lived by the law, and in the
law, all my life, and when you seek the impulses
that make soldiers desert and shoot their sergeants
and corporals, and Highland drovers dirk English
graziers, to prove themselves men of fiery passions,
it is not to a man like me you should come.  I
could tell you some tricks of my own trade, perhaps,
and a queer story or two of estates that have
been lost and recovered.  But, to tell you the truth,
I think you might do with your Muse of Fiction,
as you call her, as many an honest man does with
his own sons in flesh and blood.''

  ``And how is that, my dear sir?''

  ``Send her to India, to be sure.  That is the
true place for a Scot to thrive in; and if you carry
your story fifty years back, as there is nothing to
hinder you, you will find as much shooting and
stabbing there as ever was in the wild Highlands.
If you want rogues, as they are so much in fashion
with you, you have that gallant caste of adventurers,
who laid down their consciences at the Cape of
Good Hope as they went out to India, and forgot
to take them up again when they returned.  Then
for great exploits, you have in the old history of
India, before Europeans were numerous there, the
most wonderful deeds, done by the least possible
means, that perhaps the annals of the world can

  ``I know it,'' said I, kindling at the ideas his
speech inspired.  ``I remember in the delightful
pages of Orme, the interest which mingles in his
narratives, from the very small number of English
which are engaged.  Each officer of a regiment
becomes known to you by name, nay, the non-commissioned
officers and privates acquire an individual
share of interest.  They are distinguished
among the natives like the Spaniards among the
Mexicans.  What do I say? they are like Homer's
demigods among the warring mortals. Men, like
Clive and Caillaud, influenced great events, like
Jove himself.  Inferior officers are like Mars or
Neptune, and the sergeants and corporals might
well pass for demigods.  Then the various religious
costumes, habits, and manners of the people of
Hindustan,---the patient Hindhu, the warlike Rajahpoot,
the haughty Moslemah, the savage and
vindictive Malay---Glorious and unbounded subjects!
The only objection is, that I have never
been there, and know nothing at all about them.''

  ``Nonsense, my  good  friend.  You  will  tell  us
about them all the better that you know nothing
of what you are saying; and come, we'll finish the
bottle, and when Katie (her sisters go to the assembly)
has given us tea, she will tell you the
outline of the story of poor Menie Gray, whose
picture you will see in the drawing-room, a distant
relation of my father's, who had, however, a handsome
part of cousin Menie's succession.  There are
none living that can be hurt by the story now,
though it was thought best to smother it up at the
time, as indeed even the whispers about it led poor
cousin Menie to live very retired.  I mind her well
when a child.  There was something very gentle,
but rather tiresome, about poor cousin Menie.''

  When we came into the drawing-room, my friend
pointed to a picture which I had before noticed,
without, however, its having attracted more than
a passing look; now I regarded it with more attention.
It was one of those portraits of the middle
of the eighteenth century, in which artists endeavoured
to conquer the stiffness of hoops and brocades,
by throwing a fancy drapery around the
figure, with loose folds like a mantle or dressing
gown, the stays, however, being retained, and the
bosom displayed in a manner which shows that our
mothers, like their daughters, were as liberal of
their charms as the nature of their dress might
permit.  To this, the well-known style of the
period, the features and form of the individual
added, at first sight, little interest.  It represented a
handsome woman of about thirty, her hair wound
simply about her head, her features regular, and her
complexion fair.  But on looking more closely,
especially after having had a hint that the original
had been the heroine of a tale, I could observe a
melancholy sweetness in the countenance, that
seemed to speak of woes endured, and injuries sustained,
with that resignation which women can and
do sometimes display under the insults and ingratitude
of those on whom they have bestowed their

  ``Yes, she was an excellent and an ill-used woman,''
said Mr Fairscribe, his eye fixed like mine
on the picture---``She left our family not less, I
dare say, than five thousand pounds, and I believe
she died worth four times that sum; but it was
divided among the nearest of kin, which was all

  ``But her history, Mr Fairscribe,'' said I---``to
judge from her look, it must have been a melancholy

  ``You may say that, Mr Croftangry.  Melancholy
enough, and extraordinary enough too---
But,'' added he, swallowing in haste a cup of the
tea which was presented to him, ``I must away to
my business---we cannot be gowffing all the morning,
and telling old stories all the afternoon.  Katie
knows all the outs and the ins of cousin Menie's
adventures as well as I do, and when she has given
you the particulars, then I am at your service, to
condescend more articulately upon dates or particulars.''

  Well, here was I, a gay old bachelor, left to
hear a love tale from my young friend Katie Fairscribe,
who, when she is not surrounded by a bevy
of gallants, at which time, to my thinking, she shows
less to advantage, is as pretty, well behaved, and
unaffected a girl as you see tripping the new walks
of Prince's Street or Heriot Row.  Old bachelorship
so decided as mine has its privileges in such a
t<e^>te-<a`>-t<e^>te, providing you are, or can seem for the
time, perfectly good-humoured and attentive, and
do not ape the manners of your younger years, in
attempting which you will only make yourself
ridiculous.  I don't pretend to be so indifferent to
the company of a pretty young woman as was desired
by the poet, who wished to sit beside his

          ------``As unconcern'd, as when
        Her infant beauty could beget
          Nor happiness nor pain.''

  On the contrary, I can look on beauty and innocence,
as something of which I know and esteem
the value, without the desire or hope to make them
my own.  A young lady can afford to talk with an
old stager like me without either artifice or affectation;
and we may maintain a species of friendship,
the more tender, perhaps, because we are of
different sexes, yet with which that distinction has
very little to do.

  Now, I hear my wisest and most critical neighbour
remark, ``Mr Croftangry is in the way of
doing a foolish thing.  He is well to pass---Old
Fairscribe knows to a penny what he is worth, and
Miss Katie, with all her airs, may like the old brass
that buys the new pan.  I thought Mr Croftangry
was looking very cadgy when he came in to play a
rubber with us last night.  Poor gentleman, I am
sure I should be sorry to see him make a fool of

  Spare your compassion, dear madam, there is not
the least danger.  The _beaux yeux de ma cassette_
are not brilliant enough to make amends for the
spectacles which must supply the dimness of my
own.  I am a little deaf too, as you know to your
sorrow when we are partners; and if I could get a
nymph to marry me with all these imperfections,
who the deuce would marry Janet M`Evoy? and
from Janet M`Evoy Chrystal Croftangry will not

  Miss Katie Fairscribe gave me the tale of Menie
Gray with much taste and simplicity, not attempting
to suppress the feelings, whether of grief or resentment,
which justly and naturally arose from the circumstances
of the tale.  Her father afterwards confirmed
the principal outlines of the story, and furnished
me with some additional circumstances
which Miss Katie had suppressed or forgotten. Indeed,
I have learned on this occasion, what old Lintot
meant when he told Pope, that he used to propitiate
the critics of importance, when he had a work in the
press, by now and then letting them see a sheet of
the blotted proof, or a few leaves of the original
manuscript.  Our mystery of authorship hath something
about it so fascinating, that if you admit any
one, however little he may previously have been disposed
to such studies, into your confidence, you will
find that he considers himself as a party interested,
and, if success follows, will think himself entitled
to no inconsiderable share of the praise.

  The reader has seen that no one could have been
naturally less interested than was my excellent
friend Fairscribe in my lucubrations, which I first
consulted him on the subject; but since he bas
contributed a subject to the work, be has become
a most zealous coadjutor; and half-ashamed, I believe,
yet half-proud of the literary stock-company,
in which he has got a share, he never meets me
without jogging my elbow, and dropping some
mysterious hints, as, ``I am saying---when will you
give us any more of yon?''---or, ``Yon's not a bad
narrative---I like yon.''

  Pray Heaven the  reader  may  be  of  his  opinion.