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POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND COMMERCIAL

HISTORY,

CIENT AND MOD ER N.

BY JAMES WHEELER.

1

QUÆ REGIO IN TERRIS NOSTRI NON PLENA LABORIS?

Virgil.

LONDON:

WHITTAKER AND CO., AVE MARIA LANE;
MANCHESTER: LOVE AND BARTON, MARKET-STREET,

AND J. WHEELER, ST. ANN'S-STREET.

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2. Economic history-at. Br.- Eur

Manchester.

1- GD 2. ED

THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

3020093

ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
R
1945

L

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL.

PRINTED BY C. WHEELER AND SON, ST. ANN'S-STREET,

MANCHESTER.

PREFACE.

A learned and attractive writer has amused himself by recording the “Calamities of Authors”. how one expired in a garret, another breathed his last in a dungeon, and a third died of starvation in the street. These are evils to which all flesh is heir. There is one, however, scarcely less acute, and infinitely more enduring, which is the especial heritage of authors—that, namely, of being compelled to write a preface to their works. Without these first-or rather lastwords, a book is not a book, and yet immeasurable perplexity is involved in their production. The preparatory process resembles most the preliminary essays of an untrained chorus, striving to bring their hundred voices into harmonious accordance, whilst each effort ends in the production of a harsh discord. An unpractised author scarcely knows how to “pitch” the tone of his prefatory address. Does he deprecate criticism? He is accused of affectation. Does he defy censure? He is charged with presumption. Does he profess readiness to submit himself to any fate which in their wisdom and

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