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What may be the success of this imperfect essay, the author is not prepared to hazard a conjecture. On the one hand, he is encouraged by the indulgent manner in which a foriner work* was received by the public; while, on the other, he is checked by a sense of his deficiencies, especially on a subject where he is less in possession of that near and actual experience, which in all practical cases is the great master. This however is not meant as a plea for his book, should it be found, on the whole, a bad one, but as a reason why it is not better; and he trusts it may induce the reader's favourable allowance, that, instead of a bold demand upon his justice, he thus comes forward with a modest appeal to his candour and generosity.

But though the author readily waves all challenges and pretensions on the score of abilities, he would presume to put in his claim for a share of moderation and impartiality; and this claim, he flatters himself, will not be refused by such as are themselves distinguished for these qualities. From the violent of all parties, whether they are prerogative tories or republican whigs, high churchmen or rigid dissenters, or under whatever name or ensign they appear, he can expect no particular favour, nor even scarce indulge a hope, that he shall entirely escape their censure. Leaving such, therefore, to their own way, till further reflection or experience may lead them to a better, it is to those free and independent spirits, who know how to prefer the whole to a part, and to steer a middle course both in church and state, that, next to the patronage of heaven, he looks for support and countenance; and it is by their judgment that he is willing to stand or fall.

* Rural Philosophy, or Reflections on Knowledge, Virtue, and Happiness, chiefly in reference to a life of retirement in the country.

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