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PREFACE.

The first book of “ The Evenings of Southill” which the Author now offers to the Public, will, he hopes, be perused with attention, as well as indulgence; and should it be found to contain precepts capable of removing some of the difficulties which attend the study of language, he will experience no small degree of pleasure in having been so far useful.

Language (says Mr. Horne Tooke) is an art, and a glorious one-whose influence extends over all the others; and in which, finally, all sciences must centre.”—If it be true, then, that language influences all other arts, so as to become the very centre whence they flow, it is to language we ought to apply our first care; nor can we begin too soon to teach our children to reason on the value of words, and on the various ways of employing them to advantage.

But it may be said : Children are incapable of reasoning.-- It is true they do not often reason on the same subjects, nor in the same manner, as

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men; because their occupations are different, and they have not the same stock of acquired ideas,—They, however, have the same faculty: we daily see that a child, of the most tender age, will attempt to discover the cause of an effect which he perceives; and that if he cannot succeed of himself, he will apply to some one for assistance. It is not to be inferred from this, that the Author approves of presenting children with dry investigations on language : he has nothing more in view than that they should be properly instructed in the principles of language in general ;, which cannot be effected without a clear understanding of what those principles are:

The learned Author of « The Diversions of Purley" has done much towards explaining the nature of those parts of speech which, before, were but little known or attended to: but truth requires the Author of " The Evenings of Southill" to confess, that, in his opinion, much still remained undone in this department of Grammar.--He has ventured, on some occasions, to question the validity of Mr. Tooke's Etymologies : how justly he has done this, it remains with the public to determine.

Whatever may be the opinion of those who shall give this work an attentive perusal, the Author trusts they will receive his labours with candour.--He is at a time of life, when infirmities have overtaken him, and he has been able

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