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CHARLES BURNEY, LL.D.
ON the first appearance of this little work, it gave me pleasure to be informed, that both the plan and execution of it had the fanction of your approbation. From that moment I entertained the most fanguine hopes of a favourable reception from the public: nor have I been disappointed.
As the following abridgment contains Biographical Sketches of feveral literary characters, whofe names would have done honour to Greece or Rome, the dedication of it to one of the first claffical scholars of the age, is but a juft tribute of refpect to fuperior abilities.
It is my fincere with that you may enjoy every comfort both of public and domeftic
life. May you long continue to be an ornament to your profeffion" to rear the tender thought, and teach the young idea how to fhoot;"to infpire the pupils, who are intrusted to your care, with that genuine taste, which cannot be obtained without an acquaintance with the Claffics, and which, when once acquired, can never be obliterated.
PRESENT IMPROVED EDITION.
YOUNG people are apt to think that hiftory is a very dry and unpleasant study. But it may be written in fuch a manner, that while it improves the understanding, it will amufe the fancy as much as any Novel or Romance. Can there be a more agreeable entertainment to the mind, than to obferve human fociety, in its infancy, making the firft faint effays towards the arts and fciences? To fee the policy of government and the civility of converfation refining by degrees, and every thing that is ornamental to human life advancing towards perfection? To fee all our ancestors pass as it were in review before us, appearing in their true colours, without any of thofe difguifes, which, during their life-time, fo much perplexed the judgment of beholders? What fpectacle can be imagined fo magnificent, fo various, fo interefting?
The Hiftory of Great Britain is the hiftory of liberty, and of the ftruggles and efforts of a great nation to preferve it inviolate. It enables us to trace the progrefs of civil fociety, and the principles and practice of legislation. It points out in the moft ftriking manner, from example, what we ought to avoid, and what we ought to follow.
In the following pages the young reader will find a concife account of the most important events which have happened in this country, from the Roman conqueft to the prefent times, with a diftinct view of the religion, laws, learning, arts, commerce, and manners of its inhabitants, in every age. The fubjects of the different periods, being thus claffed, cannot fail to make a ftrong impreffion upon the youthful mind, and to infpire fentiments of virtue, patriotism, and univerfal philanthropy.
No pains or expence have been spared to render this Hiftory worthy the attention of the rifing generation. Befides the infertion of late occurrences, the Author has added an introductory chapter, containing much curious information