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HAT well-known and highly-important agent in the world of literature, THE READER! is a personage who, from the birth-day of
typography to the present hour, has experienced one invariable, and we must say rather enviable fate-- he has never had a single syllable spoken against him.
He is the only creature alive-nay, the only one that ever lived-of whom there has been at all times but good report- no evil - none, not a word! Everybody, in every age, has been run down, except the Reader ! Seas of ink have been exhausted in establishing upon triumphant grounds the blackness of human nature, but not a drop has ever fallen upon the Reader's character. Myriads of books have been written-verily, the number would form a pile more huge by half than forty pyramids—to prove that patriots are enormous scoundrels, and honest men the most insidious of rogues; that philosophers are cheats, and poets liars ; that saints are hypocrites, and self-mortifiers gluttons ; that subjects are little better than slaves, kings
no better than they should be, and even queens a little lower than the angels. It has been shewn, past doubt, that great conquerors are mere butchers, that lawyers are legal robbers, and apothecaries and physicians joint instruments for promoting the worldly interests of undertakers. There are whole libraries extant, crammed with irrefragable evidence that tradesmen are sneaks who live but to breathe the breath of knavery, and that their customers are, for the most part, little better than shoplifters.
Is there a character in human nature, how black soever it may be, that may not be matched by something quite as black in a book ?-nay, fiction has now and then outstripped. fact, and men have been made monsters of. will go further, and ask, is there a character, of any description whatever, that has not at some period been the object of attack in remorseless black and white ? Authors have always such an appetite for evil—they so enjoy the development of bad passions, and the pourtrayal of the darker and more demoniac lineaments of life-that no class