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Southern District of New York, St. BE it remembered, that on the seventeenth day of October, in the funny seventh year of the Independence of the United States of America, Charles Wiley, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the tit.d of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
“ The Pioneers, or the Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale By the Author of Precaution.' 1823
• Extremes of habits, manners, time, and space,
That other lands and ages never knew.k-Paulding." In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned ;" and also to an Act, entitled, “ An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts or designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
OF BLENHEIM, SCHOHARIE,
The length of our friendship would be a sufficient reason for prefixing your name to these pages; but your residence so near the scene of the tale, and your familiarity with much of the character and kind of life that I have attempted to de. scribe, render it more peculiarly proper. You, at least, dear Sutherland, will not receive this dedication as a cold compliment, but as an evidence of the feeling that makes me,
Warmly and truly,
TO MR. CHARLES WILEY, BOOKSELLER.
Every man is, more or less, the sport of accident; nor do I know that authors are at all exempted from this humiliating influence. This is the third of my novels, and it depends on two very uncertain contingencies, whether it will not be the last :--the one being the public opinion, and the other mine own humour. The first book was written, because I was told that I could not write a grave tale; so, to prove that the world did not
I wrote one that was so grave nobody would read it; wherein I think that I had much the best of the argument. The second was written to see if I could not overcome this neglect of the reading world. How far I have succeeded, Mr. CHARLES WILEY, must ever remain a secret between ourselves. The third has been written, exclusively, to please myself: so it would be no wonder if it displeased every body else ; for what
two ever thought alike, on a subject of the imagination ?
I should think criticism to be the perfection of human acquirements, did there not exist this discrepancy in taste. Just as I have made up my mind to adopt the very sagacious hints of one learned Reviewer, a pamphlet is put into my hands, containing the remarks of another, who condemns all that his rival praises, and praises all that his rival condemns. There I am, left like an ass between two locks of hay ; so that I have determined to relinquish my animate nature, and remain stationary, like a lock of hay between two asses.
It is now a long time, say the wise ones, since the world has been told all that is new and novel. But the Reviewers (the cunning wights!) have adopted an ingenious expedient, to give a freshness to the most trite idea. They clothe it in a language so obscure and metaphysical, that the reader is not about to comprehend their pages without some labour. This is called a great thought ;” and not improperly, as I can testify: for, in my own case, I have frequently ranged the universe of ideas, and come back again in as perfect ignorance of their meaning as when I set out. It is delightful, to see the literati of a circulating library get hold of one of these difficult periods ! Their praise of the performance is exactly commensurate with its obscurity. Every body knows, that to seem wise is the first requisite in a great man