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LONDON,

Printed by and for the EDITOR;
And sold by J. Robson and W. CLARKE, New Bond-street ;

G. G. J. and J. ROBINSON, Pater-noster Row ;
J. WALTER, Charing-crofs; and C. Dilly, in the Poultry, 1787.

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HE following collection of Letters,

though the genuine effufions of one of the most elegant writers in the English language, can add little to the reputation of a literary character which has been long ago fully established ; being in geñeral the hasty productions of his pen, intended only for private inspection; and some of them evidently scribbled when their amiable author was probably not in the

very best condition for penmanship. The subjects of many of them are trivial and domestic, such as may at first be supposed not very interesting to the publick, and from most men would be deemed insignificant and below attention; but as they contain the private and undisguised opinions of the man, who took upon himself to be the Cenfor of the age, and for

and for years exercised that delicate office with suitable dignity, and general approbation, it may excite no a 3

little

little curiosity to observe how he conducted himself in those concerns and occurrences of life, through which he so ably directed others. Not a single scrap of them has been suppressed; nor is there a line in the whole publication, which does not, in the opinion of the Editor, go to confirm all that has lately been said for the fuperiority of Steele's understanding and his heart, in the Notes to the new edition of the TaTLER. These Letters manifest throughout, with irresistible conviction, the very many excellent and amiable qualities, which greatly endeared this public benefactor to society; and in proof of their authenticity, we see in them with regret,

indubitable marks of " that impru“dence of generofity, or vanity of profu6 fion, which kept Steele always incu« rably neceffitous," and shaded his fine character. Considering the constant vexation and serious inconveniencies of which it was the cause or the occasion, to himself and his family, nothing can be said to ex. cufe Steele's inattention to æconomy; it was however more pardonable, and the less

reproachable,

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