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STORIES FOR PERSONS IN THE MIDDLE HINTS TOWARDS FORMING THE CHA.
RACTER OF A YOUNG PRINCESS.
ESTIMATE OF THE RELIGION OF THE
R. GRIFFIN AND CO., GLASGOW ; TEGG AND CO., DUBLIN ; AND J. AND S. A. TEGO,
SYDNEY AND HOBART TOWN.
Whatever objections may be urged against the literary character of the present day, it must however be allowed to exhibit an evident improvement in some material points. It is, for instance, no new observation, that vanity and flattery are now less generally ostensible even in the most indifferent authors, than they were formerly in some of the best. The most self-sufficient writer is at length driven, by the prevailing sense of propriety, to be contented with thinking himself the prime genius of the age ; but he seldom ventures to tell you that he thinks so. Vanity is compelled to acquire or to assume a better taste.
That spirit of independence also, which has in many respects impressed so mischievous a stamp on the public character, has perhaps helped to correct the style of prefaces and dedications. Literary patronage is so much shorn of its beams, that it can no longer enlighten bodies which are in themselves opake; so much abridged of its power, that it cannot force into notice a work which is not able to recommend itself. The favour of an individual no longer boasts that buoyant quality which enables that to swim which by its own nature is disposed to sink. The influence of an Augustus, or a Louis Quatorze, of a Mecænas, a Dorset, or a Halifax, could not now procure readers, much less could it compel admirers for the panegyrist, if the panegyrist himself could command admiration on no better ground than the authority of the patron. The once dilated preface is shrunk into plain apology or simple exposition. The long and lofty dedication is (generally speaking) dwindled into a sober expression of respect for public virtue, a concise tribute of affection to private friendship, or an acknowledgment for personal obligation. It is no longer necessary for the dependant to be profane in order to be grateful. No more are all the Divine attributes snatched from their rightful possessor, and impiously appropriated by the needy writer to the opulent patron. He still makes indeed the eulogium of his protector, but