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HENRY SMITH, Esc.
SECRETARY TO THE HON. THE BOARD
KINGDOM or IRELAND.
A DEDICATION wears, at all times, so much the air of flattery, that 'tis hard to distinguish between the language dictated by Sincerity, and the fawnings of the Parasite between the respect paid by personal gratitude to personal merit, and the aukward imitations of it offered at the foot of Wealth and Title by the hungry expectant.
I shall, for these reasons, only make one short observation on the propriety of my offering these sheets to your patronage That although nothing doubting but the innate beauty of my favourite author, is capable of attracting the admiration and A 2
seizing seizing the attention of every rank and age ---yet having had an opportunity (through the honour of a personal intimacy with you) of observing, not only how reducible, but reduced to practice, is that philanthropy he fo sweetly recommends in every page of his writings,--I have beer. induced to prefix your name, as a sit head to such a body-feeling with what force precept comes home to the heart, strengthened by such an example.
I have therefore to beg you will attribute the liberty I here take with your name to its proper motive-a defire to hold up to the world a mirror, in which they should endeavour to behold their own likenessand to believe me, with every sentiment of gratitude and respect,
And most humble servant,
P R E F A C E.
The very many editions that have already passed the press, of the “ Beauties of Sterne,” sufficiently evince the sentiments of the public at large upon the propriety of such a work, and remove those objections which at first might have been supposed to exist-it therefore only remains to point out the amendments the world has a right to look for in the present edition.
It has been a matter of much general complaint, that the selections hitherto made were of rather too confined a cast, -and that, contrary to the original, the utile and the dulce were not sufficiently blended, or in equal quantities. That as the work was intended both for the recreation of our riper years, and the improvement of the more juvenile mind, it dragg'd on rather too serious a system of grave morality, unmix'd with those sprightlier sallies of fancy,
which the great Original knew so judiciously and equally to scatter in our way.
It has been likewise observed, that the dread of offending the ear of Chaftity, so laudable in itself, has, in the present case, been carried to an excess, thereby depriving us of many most laughable scenes, though in themselves totally free from any objections on the score of indelicacy-and that, upon the whole, the past compilers of Sterne, keeping their eye rather upon his morality, than his humour-upon his judgment, than his wit, had liken’d the work to his Cane Chair, deprived of the one of its knobs-incomplete and ununiform. Giving us rather thofe plants which may be found in all climates and in every soil, than those which are more estimable, because more rare, and which have been brought to perfection in but a very few indeed such skilful hands as his.
To obviate in some measure those foundcd objections, has been the object of the present edition, in which, the reader, whether of a grave or gay complection, will
find an equal attention paid him the sprightly reader will find, now for the first time, several scenes of such exquisite fancy -such true Shandean colouring, that he will be astonish'd, they could be overlook'd by any who professed to enumerate the « Beauties of Sterne.”-Such are, Mr. Shandy's Beds of Justice-Dr. Slop and Susannah-Parson Yorick's Horse and many other pictures of the same tint. The heart of Sensibility will receive a melancholy pleasure in the contemplation of Yorick's untimely fate;-and the mind, in search of those duties we owe to God and Man, will receive fresh incentives to perfevere in well-doing, from that most excellent discourse upon Charity" The Case of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath considered.”—A few of his most admired Letters are also now added, and the whole embellish'd, at a great expence, with capital engravings from original drawings, executed for this particular purpose.
Thus will the reader perceive, that as the mine whence this gem is extracted