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The web of our life is of a mingled yarn; good and ill together :

our virtues would be proud if our faults whipp'd them not; and
our crimes would despair if they were not cherished by our
virtues,

Shakespeare

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PRE FACE.

TO amuse without injuring, and to instruct without offending, is the highest aim of the following pages.

They were written in a retirement almost amounting to solitude, at the request of a beloved and lamented friend, whose hours of languor, during a lingering illness, were occasionally relieved by the perusal of them; whose partiality encouraged, and whose judgement approved them.

The

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