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CHAPTER 1. Introduction

1 CHAPTER 2. On General and Particular Competition 4 CHAPTER 3. The subject continued

18 CHAPTER 4. On the Pronoun Possessive

37 CHAPTER . 5. The subject resumed

43 CHAPTER 6. On Precedence

52 CHAPTER 7. On Religious Competition

.63 CHAPTER 8. On Detraction

73 CHAPTER 9. On the different classes of Detractors 86 CHAPTER 10. On Practical Detraction

- 134 CHAPTER 11. On the Vocabulary of Detraction - 151 CHAPTER 12. On some of the most prominent sub

jects of Detraction, Authoresses, Blue-
Stockings, Medical men, Converts to seri-
ous Religion

- 155 CHAPTER 13. On Defamation

- 196 CHAPTER 14. On those most particularly exposed to Defamation

- 214 CHAPTER 15. Preventives against Defamation . 221 CHAPTER 16. Address to Religious Professors - 235 CHAPTER 17. Address to the Younger Members of the Society of Friends

- 240 CHAPTER 18. Conclusion

- 255


With more than usual self-distrust, I give this book to the world, and under circumstances of a new and trying nature. The voice of affectionate encouragement, which used to animate me to my task, I can hear no more; and when, from the force of habit, I have sometimes turned round, while writing, to ask as in former times for counsel and advice, I have been painfully reminded, that the judicious critic, as well as tender parent, was removed from me forever. But I have the consolation of knowing, that should this work excite severe animadversion, he will not share in this expected pain;~I say "expected,” because detraction is as common as the air we breathe, and to some, from long indulgence in it, it is now almost as necessary; and an endeavour to substitute profitable discourse for talking-over and laughing at one's friends and neighbours,


will be thought nearly as cruel as to exclude the air necessary for respiration.

Nor have I been encouraged to my labours by any sanguine expectation of doing good: for so rare is self-knowledge, that though I am often told that Detraction abounds, that my work is necessary, and will, no doubt, benefit others, scarcely any one says, “ I hope it will be of benefit to me;" yet, general improvement can only be the result of individual reformation. Besides, even those persons, who complain that the sin is universal, speak in a careless, indifferent tone, as if they thought it had acquired a prescriptive right to remain so, and that the endeavour to make it less common must be Utopian Reverie.

I have, however, been cheered in my labours by one conviction,-namely, that though what I have written may offend many of my readers, and benefit but few, it will at least, as I humbly trust, warn and amend MYSELF.

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