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DEDICATION.

To His Royal Highness Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, and Baron of Arklow, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, &c. both Houses of Parliament, the Dignitaries of the Church, and Sons of the Clergy throughout the Realm, and all Others to whom the Legislation and Dispensation of these Rites in any way pertain.

ALTHOUGH your Royal Highness was born an Illustrious Prince, and, therefore, have a natural claim upon every Englishman's respect by birthright! yet, (as the human feelings cannot be forced,) that which actuates a man of mind to offer his ingenuous and unextorted tribute of acknowledgement is not so much the hereditary pretension of your Royal Highness to this affee

tion, as a knowledge of your mental excellencies and public spirit! For those who are born and bred in palaces are too apt (through breathing nothing but royal air) to be absorbed in the contemplation of their own dignities, confine all worth to these splendid mansions and look upon all plebeian undertakings beneath their notice.

But the superiority to these prejudices, daily evinced by your Royal Highness, while it enstamps your nobility more genuine, renders you of easier access, and makes every man a volunteer in your just praise! Convinced that, however high your birth and lineage, the virtues of your mind (grown stronger by mixing with society) transcend them, and constitute you at once the favourite and Mæcenas of the age, and a pattern to all other princes in the world who have not attained this maximum of true manhood! they, therefore, feel but one sentiment towards you, (that of love!)

It was from a knowledge of these social virtues having taken a permanent residence in your

superior mind, that the Author ventured to aspire to so noble a patron, and begs leave to apologize for the presumption by the necessity of the thing! The world is already not only threatened, but nearly deluged, with torrents of vapid publications, so as to require an almost general index expurgatorius, upon their numbers; and yet humanity impels another: but, be assured it is no common subject that seeks protection or calls so many patrons to its aid! but a legitimate though helpless protegée, who, without your interference, must be immolated to the gorgon of gothic barbarity!

The subject is that of preservation from the horrors of the grave by premature interment ! A subject (next to religion) paramount to all others, and the result of many years serious reflection of a son of sorrow and adversity, conscientiously stimulated to this most imperious moral duty by humanity ! A subject which, though many have taken in hand, none have had the firmness requisite to carry it into practical effect, (without which all writings.

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are in vain,) but, petrified by the gorgon's horrid front, have retired from the charge and left it unfinished rather than wound the feelings of themselves or the public by probing it to the bottom; until, like a long neglected disease, the evil has become desperate and almost incurable by inveterate custom!

It is addressed to you, collectively and universally, to avoid controversy or suspicion of schism! Not from motives of interest, or place, or honour, or for the sake of form, but from pure benevolence to all the world; because, to you, as legislators, pertain the emendations of pernicious customs: and you are the legitimate sources from whom all improvements should emanate or receive patronage at least; and, under whose auspicious acceptation, the writer hopes to see it translated into every vernacular tongue, and, by your sanction, find its way into the most remote and minute ramifications of society throughout the habitable globe, to the removal of the premature Jewish custom. And, although not written by a regular graduate, yet, as far as it

carries within itself its own unaided evidence and intrinsic demonstrations, the Author humbly hopes it will be no less cordially received and patronized, (as "those who are not against you are for you"). Without your aid the writer is quite aware how vain would be an individual's attempt to stem the tide of VULGAR PREJUDICE, overturn the inveterate custom of GOTHIC BARBARITY, or chase its GRISLY GORGON from the GRAVE!

He, therefore, appeals to your sacred tribunal, fully expecting a liberality of sentiment commensurate to your respective superiority of station and power to do good. And if magnanimity of mind be most exalted when it exerts itself to save those who are most depressed, it never can shine so resplendently as when it intrepidly passes the rubicon of horror, descends into the premature grave, and snatches the poor devoted victim from the ineffable fate of living inhumation or being BURIED ALIVE!!!

Beside,

"this virtue is not without its own re

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