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placidity was fled; but ah! how rapturous, how agonizing rapturous, the finewrought sensations that had supplanted the barren vacuum of her happy era!"

After much blushing, throbbing, and walking in their sleep, towards the close of the third volume, most of the parties grow into nobility, and are imparadised on each other's faithful bosoms.

It may appear more than unnecessary thus "to prepare the rack for a butterfly," and single out such a work

as Vensenshon for exposure.

But my

design required that I should find a suf

ficient example of this species of novel;

having already adduced instances of works so denominated, capable of injuring the manners and morals of the young as radically as Vensenshon is calculated to vitiate their tastes.

In an essay like this, it is presumed that the writer may be permitted to indulge his fancy with the supposition of some of the noxious effects arising from the prevailing fondness for light reading in general, but especially for novels: because, exclusive of its immediate operation on the taste and morals of youth, it can, I think, be shown, that a familiarity with counterfeit afflictions is to

tally destructive of that sensibility to which they are erroneously believed so favourable; and that the same study which perverts the reason, also contributes to indurate the heart.

Of this, I have myself witnessed too many instances to allow of my entertaining any doubt upon the subject. I have known a man who, as a duellist and a gamester, had steeped his hands in the blood of more than three fellowcreatures, and, by his success at the hazard-table, reduced several to beggary; who by his arts had betrayed many females to ruin; by filial disobedience had

deprived his parents of the repose and the reverence to which old age looks for its best earthly recompense; who by the ferocity of his disposition had alienated his relations, friends, and acquaintances, and acquired the hatred of his tenantry and domestics; who, although he had squandered hundreds from ostentation and caprice, never bestowed a guinea to relieve distress, nor heaved one sigh of compassion when imploring misery has stood within his view: and this man has often been seen melted into tears at the theatre, and still more frequently

when engaged in the amusement of reading tender novels.

This prodigious inconsistency of character can only be accounted for by supposing that so much vice was the fruit of a bad education; and that the same individual might have been made as singularly virtuous by a course of rational discipline, as he proved abandoned through neglect.

We can readily imagine that this person, in his youth, had imbibed his ideas of human life, both with respect to prosperity and adversity, from works of fiction; in which they are usually so misrepresented, as to causes and effects, that they bear no resemblance whatever to reality: and he who, as a strip

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