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the last to feel the influence of that. general polish which assimilates to each other the manners of different nations. Among the same class I have placed some of the scenes, in which I have endeavoured to illustrate the operation of the higher and more violent passions; both because the lower orders are less restrained by the habit of suppressing their feelings, and because I agree with Mr Wordsworth, that they seldom fail to express them in the strongest and most powerful language. This is, I think, peculiarly the case with the peasantry of my own country, a class with whom I have long been familiar. The antique
force and simplicity of their language. often tinctured with the oriental eloquence of Scripture, in the mouths of those of an elevated understanding, give pathos to their grief, and dignity to their resentment.
I have been more solicitous to describe manners minutely, than to arrange in any case an artificial and combined narration, and have but to regret that I felt myself unable to unite these two requisites of a good Novel.
The knavery of the Adept in the following sheets may appear forced and improbable; but we have had very late instances of the force of superstitious credulity to a much greater ex
tent, and the reader may be assured,
that this part of the narrative is founded on a fact of actual occurrence.
I have now only to express my gratitude to the public, for the distinguished reception which they have given to works, that have little more than some truth of colouring to recommend them, and to take my respectful leave, as one who is not likely again to solicit their favour.