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JOHN ANDERSON, JUN. EDINBURGH.

55, NORTH BRIDGE STREET ;
AND SIMPKIN AND MARSHALL, LONDON.

MDCCCXXIII.

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Beber 9-15.45 52157

ADVERTISEMENT.

More than twenty-five years have passed since these Essays were written. It is perhaps twenty years since I have perused them. My bookseller has invited me to the task ; and I owe it to the public not again to commit them to the press without some revision. But I have little leisure for the business. My mind is at this moment wholly engrossed in a work, which, if my life and my faculties are sufficiently prolonged, and the precariousness of my outward circumstances will admit it, I should gladly finish, and make it perhaps my last legacy to my fel.

low men.

In reading over these Essays, I find scarcely a thought that is my present thought, or which, at least, if I were now called upon to write upon their subjects for the first time, I should not express somewhat differently from the way in which it is here expressed. Our minds change like our bodies by insensible degrees, till they cannot, but with some looseness of phraseology, be called the same. Twenty-five years ago I was in the full vigour of animal life; I am so no longer, but in a green old age. When I wrote these Essays, I was a bachelor; I have since become a husband and a father. Yet the difference between the thoughts here expressed, and the thoughts I now entertain, is not fundamental ; and to a careless observer would in most instances be imperceptible. Nor do I wish to change the texture of the publication. To those who feel any interest in my writings, such a change would scarcely be acceptable. In the volume to which these lines are prefixed, I appear such as I then was, and in a dress correspondent to the period of life I had reached. In what I may

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