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THE Author would almost deem it impertinent to prefix another Advertisement to these Letters, did she not feel anxious to thank those who have shown so much indulgence to so slight a work; did she not also wish to give expression to a hope that when she next solicits their attention, it may be for some production less desultory, and more matured.

In this edition, letters xxv. xxvi. xxvii. are new; the whole have been revised; and, as a not inappropriate conclusion, the Author has appended a poem originally published without her


January, 1832.




You ask me to recommend you books, and some time or other I will name a few that it may be for your advantage to peruse; my object at present, is to gain your pre-eminent attention to one, because that one in its two characters, as a book, and as the book of God, is pre-eminent in its claims. It is respecting its human and literary character that I shall first address you.

Some works we read and lay aside without even the intention of reading them again; they are not worth the trouble, or we have more important demands on our leisure and attention. Some there are, which, having

read, we refer to afterwards for particular passages and expressions, otherwise their office is fulfilled, and we think of them no more. There remains a third class of books, small indeed, but far more valued by us; books that we study, and make our companions, returning to them again and again, with increased confidence and undiminished zest.

Most readers have two or three authors whom they thus estimate as standardswhose writings have tended to model and mature their minds, whom it pains them to hear depreciated, to understand and to love whom, supplies a bond of union something like that which the knowledge of a third person affords to strangers. Now this feeling ought, in its highest degree, to obtain for the Bible.

If to you, or any other young person of an ardent, inquiring turn of mind, fond of knowledge, somewhat for its own sake, somewhat more for its estimation, I were to say, "Some writings have just been found in Herculaneum, the discovery of which will form an epoch in the annals of literature; "-such an address

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