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TO THE THIRD EDITION.
To this slight attempt at a sketch of ancient Scottish manners, the public have been more attentive than the Author durst have hoped or expected. He has heard, with a mixture of satisfaction and humility, his work ascribed to more than one respectable name. Considerations, which seem weighty in his particular situation, prevent his releasing these gentlemen from suspicion, by placing his own name in the title-page; so that, for the present at least, it must remain uncertain, whether WAVERLEY be the work of a poet or a critic, a lawyer or a clergyman, or whether the writer, to use Mrs. Malaprop's phrase, be "like Cerberus-three gentlemen at once.' The Author, as he is unconscious of any thing in the work itself (except perhaps its frivolity) which prevents its finding an acknowledged father, leaves it to the candour of the public to choose among the many circumstances peculiar to different situations in life, such as may induce him to suppress his name on the present occasion. He may be a writer new to publication, and unwilling to avow a character to which he is unaccustomed; or he may be a hackneyed author, who is ashamed of too frequent appearance, and employs this mystery, as the heroine of the old comedy used her mask, to attract the attention of those to whom her face had become too familiar. He He may be a man of a grave profession, to whom the reputation of being a novel-writer may be prejudicial; or he may be a man of fashion, to whom writing of any kind might appear pedantic. He