Imatges de pÓgina





John Nichols and Son, Printers, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street, London.

[blocks in formation]



BEG leave to return my sincere thanks to the community, for the flattering reception with which this undertaking has been honoured :-A more convincing proof of that approbation which every Author most ardently desires seldom occurs, and still more seldom is expressed in so short a period as between the dates of the first appearance of the book and the present preface (March 1308 and May 1809.)

It had been my intention, from the moment I thought of tracing the habits of the residents of our Metropolis, to give a history of them from the earliest ages to the close of the last century: those early ages should certainly have been noticed first; but the length of time required for collecting materials, and the heavy expences attending printing, made it imperiously necessary that I should offer to the publick the least difficult portion of my labours, in order to ascertain whether I might proceed in safety with the remainder. The result has surpassed my hopes, and roused me to redoubled exertion in preparing for the press a volume including Anecdotes of Manners and


Customs from the Roman Invasion to 1700, in which will be found most of the apparent omissions discoverable in this; but I shall ever reserve a right to myself of saying nothing on a subject of which I have an imperfect knowledge, through impediments not always to be explained without a charge of prolixity. This circumstance, and the impossibility of knowing how the work would be received, compelled me to give a retrospective view, at the commencement of some chapters, that should contribute to render them satisfactory, provided the early portion never appeared. The readers of the Quarto edition of the History of the Eighteenth Century will therefore have the goodness to excuse the retrospective sketches in it; and those of the present will perceive the sketches alluded to are omitted, in order to confine each event to its proper æra in the work when completed.

It will be observed that I address iyself in the above sentence solely to the liberal reader for information and amusement, and by no means to the invisible censors of the age, who kindly and charitably supply the place of Inquisitors without receiving their appointment either from the Church, the State, or the Publick. A person who honours this publication with his notice in the Eclectic Review remarks, We should have thought the progress of learning, and the novelties in the trade of books, during the last century, well intitled to some regard ; and, as Mr. M. has been indebted to bis worthy friend Mr. Vichols for the inspection of his matchless collection of periodical publications, from which great part of his materials have been selected,' we wonder not a little how the very institution of periodical publica


« AnteriorContinua »