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STRANGER IN READING.
Ου δὴ ταῦτα γε πανία, ΓΕΡΟΝ, κατα μδιραν ἴειπες.
Printed by Powell & Co. Crane-court, Fleet-street,
AND SOLD BY BLACK, PARRY, AND KINGSBURY; AND
Gough. Adds Berks
THE Author of the following Letters to the K Stranger in Reading," considers it necessary to offer an apology to the Public, but more especially to the respectable Inhabitants of Reading, for the publication of this Work so many months after the appearance of the Stranger's book. The facts connected with the delay are simply as follows:-The Writer had but little time to appropriate to this Work till after the usual labours of the day were completed, when he was frequently very unfit to enter on a new employment; and he actually would have desisted from his intention, had he not considered himself under an obligation to proceed, in consequence of having declared, in public company, that the Stranger's Letters would be answered, which declaration he always viewed as the means of preventing a reply from
another hand, and as the occasion of an advertisement in the Reading Mercury, promising a series of Letters to the "Stranger," by "Detector." The substance of the Letters was, however, notwithstanding difficulties and hinderances, completed in March; but for reasons which it is not necessary to state, the book has been two months in passing through the press. If it should be asked why any answer at all should be given to a work which has excited so general a disapprobation as the Stranger's Letters, it is replied that, despicable as they are in some respects, they might have left an unfavourable impression on the minds of some persons respecting the character of the Inhabitants of Reading in general, and that of the professors of religion in particular. The Author is likewise convinced, that in these Letters to the Stranger he has had an opportunity of discussing many interesting subjects, of which some may communicate important information to the majority of his readers, while others in the most eminent degree are connected with the welfare of
them all.-Added to these reasons, the Stranger having presumed to place himself on very high ground, as is evident from an advertisement that appeared in the Reading Paper after this reply was announced, the Author has the vanity to believe he has dispossessed him of his eminence, and really flatters himself that the Stranger will not venture to insert any more scurrilous and indecent advertisements in a public newspaper, or to publish, as a second volume to the Letters, his promised "Collection of Reading Anecdotes." What sort of a book this would have been, in which veracity would not have been guaranteed by the writer, I leave his readers to judge after running over the pages of the first volume, in which a regard for truth is positively promised.
Had the Author consulted some of his Reading friends respecting this publication, it might have received an advantage in some parts; but he was under an apprehension that alterations might have been solicited, and had he erased so as to gratify individuals, his book would have been less satisfactory