Puslapio vaizdai
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thus introduced, the slightest pretension to supply it. Amongst the dreams of juvenile presumption, it had, I acknowledge, at one time entered into my fancy, that if life should be long continued to me, and leisure should by any happy accident accrue upon it, I might, in the course of years, undertake such an enterprise. When this vision lost some of its original brightness, I still conceived that I might be enabled to blot from Lord Bacon's note of "deficients" so much of the doctrine "De Negotiis" as belongs to the division which he has entitled "De "occasionibus sparsis." But the colours of this exhalation also faded in due season; and when the scheme came to be chilled and condensed, the contents of the following volume were the only result that, for the present at least, I could hope to realise. Concerning the nature of these contents, I have little to add to the tabular enumeration prefixed to the volume, except that the topics which I have treated are such as ex

perience, rather than inventive meditation, has suggested to me. The engagements which have deprived me of literary leisure and a knowledge of books, have, on the other hand, afforded me an extensive and diversified conversancy with business; and I hope, therefore, that I may claim from my readers some indulgence for the little learning and for the desultoriness of these disquisitions, in consideration of the value which they may be disposed to attach to comments derived from practical observation.

London, May, 1836.

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