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LIGHT READING,

AS IT MAY BE SUPPOSED TO INFLUENCE

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In the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.

HOR.

SHAKSP.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR JAMES CARPENTER,

OLD BOND STREET.

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AN

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ESSAY, &c.

IN the following observations upon the subject of LIGHT READING, I shall not extend my view to works which might receive that title from such persons as Aristotle, Locke, or Newton; but, excluding from my definition of light literature, all folios, quartos, and crown-octavos of voyages, travels, tracts

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of divinity, politics, metaphysics, &c., shall endeavour to call the attention of the reader to some remarks on a few of the various consequences which may be supposed to arise from the perusal of novels, romances, and poems of a particular class: in other words, to the ordinary contents of a circulating library.

Vanity already prompts me to believe that this my little volume has itself some chance of a place in one of those repositories, and therefore a chance of being read. Already, methinks, I see it take its post in a sky-blue or rose-coloured covering, upon the counter or in

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