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ORIGINAL PIECES,

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SELECTIONS FROM PERFORMANCES OF MERIT,

FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC,

A Work calculated to disseminate useful Knowledge among all ranks
of people at a small expence. /

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EDINBURGH:
IRINTED BY MVNDELL AKD SOX, PARLIAMENT STAIRS.
MDCCXCJ. Vol.1.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

While the Editor contemplated this undertaking at a distance, he perceived difficulties; but they were difficulties of such a sort, as only tended to rouse the mind, and make it act with greater energy and vigour: As the time of publication drew nearer, however, difficulties of another fort occurred, which have only excited anxiety and perplexing doubts, that tend to enervate and to freeze the mental faculties. The many obliging letters he has received from persons of distinguished eminence in all quarters, while they claim his most grateful acknowledgments to their respective writers, have made a deep and melancholy impression on his mind, which it will be difficult to efface: for though he is willing to ascribe no small share of the obliging things that there occur, to that complimentary politeness every one thinks it necessary to assume on occasions of this fort; yet their general tenor is so strong and so uniforrn, as to leave him no room to doubt that the public hath, in general, formed an estimate of his abilities infinitely more favourable than they deserve. Conscious as he himself is, that the only claim he can justly Jay

hold of for obtaining the public favour, is the sincerity of his intentions, he cannot but feel an anxious disquietude of mind, at the thoughts of making his appearance before that public which he is convinced hath formed expectations altogether disproportioned to his deserts. He would fain wish to remove, if possible, the disagreeable effects of that unjust prepossession ; but how to do it, he knows not. Impressed with these ideas, he offers this his first number to the public, with doubt and hesitation. These very thoughts have depressed his spirits to such a degree, as to render his mind, feeble at the best, incapable on this occasion of even its ordinary exertions. Embarrassed too, with a number of cares respecting the executive department of a new undertaking, these perplexities have been still farther augmented on this, occasion, in an extraordinary degree, so as to divert him in a great measure, at the present time, from being able to attend, as he ought to do, to the more congenial task, to him, of supervising the literary department. In these circumstances, he feels himself under the necessity of supplicating the indulgence of his readers for the defects and imperfections of this number. Should the public be disposed to receive this feeble effort with indulgence, as some of these embarrassments must

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