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I most assuredly have done in my xxxix.) a whole chapter to their service.— While, of those truant school-boys, whose backs may have oftener smarted under the inflictions of the rod, than their hearts warmed in gratitude for the unspeakable advantages of early tuition,-and of these cool, calculating mortals, who never evidenced any great fellow feeling for those of their own calling and profession-some may be disposed to find fault with me for having said so much as I have done in pages 101 and 102, in favour of that meritorious and deserving class of men who were the guides of our youth, as an old correspondent styles them, "while toiling in the paths of classic lore,"
and others, for having evidenced such decided partiality towards my old brethren of the book trade. But, in regard to the first, I must claim the privilege of being allowed, to think as I feel from my own experience, and to speak as I think, -and if, the many obligations I lie under to the second-and the warm feeling with which I must ever, in the language of Goldsmith, "fondly turn" to my old brethren of the bookselling profession,-have induced me to take up a larger portion of my volume, than these gentlemen may have thought I was warranted to do I trust they will now excuse me, for these very forcible reasons.
Others, again, who feel themselves no way interested in these things, may object to my having taken up so much of my room by a description of my numerous and various AUCTION ROUTES-and the minute details, therein given, as to the dates when, and the places where,-the different sales took place. To obviate this objection as much as possible, upon finding that a progressive account of these sales became a necessary characteristic in the composition of my volume, although they might not be equally interesting to all of my readers, I formed the resolution, to throw them, or the most of them, into a smaller letter, and at the bottom of the pages, by way of notes, where those, who did not wish to read them, might very conveniently pass them over-while, in the mere taking them on record, I knew that I was furnishing a very pleasant treat to others, who, from being purchasers at these sales, or other associations connected with them, might be anxious to know at what time they took place, in their respective localities, and quarters of the country ;-and what quarter of the country, it may be asked, after consulting these short, but comprehensive lists, so far as the Scottish auction license extends-has been exempted from a call of one or other of these visitants ?
There are some, again, I am aware, who may take offence, at the number of devout expressions that may appear in my work-and others, who may express their dissatisfaction at what they may call my want of good taste, in making so frequent allusion, to, and in quoting so largely from, Scripture. But, let the former remember, that, in several of my publications, I have given evidence, that I had, at least, a taste for ASTRONOMY ;-and what says the poet ?" DEVOTION! daughter of ASTRONOMY!—An undevout astronomer is MAD."
And, in regard to the other part of the accusation, of evincing, by these Scriptural allusions and quotations, a want of good taste-I must certainly deny the consequence; for I think it is rather a mark or characteristic of a want of good taste, in a Christian country-or, more properly speaking, in a member of a Christian community, if he is sincere in his profession, and not ashamed of the doctrines of that religion, which he affects to believe-not to quote freely, and as occasion requires, provided he does so with becoming reverence, from what he should consider as his principal text-book ;-however lavish he may be otherwise, in his references to, and quotations from, the authorities of Greece and Romeof which, it is presumed there will be found no want also, in these pages.
Bad taste, indeed!-Let us hear what the deep thinking, and acute reasoning,
Even the Lord Chancellor himself, when he sees the moderation of my views will, I trust, if ever these pages meet his eye, be the more disposed to excuse the hint given him in page 89, whether he deem it worthy of his attention or not.
But here comes the last, that my limits will allow me to touch upon, but which, considering me yet in the light of a bookseller, (which I certainly am in one sense, and in the present instance,) may be accounted the most serious because the most sordid charge of them all,—and that is, that I have converted my present into a kind of advertising medium for my other publications, and as, a sort of harbinger to announce the forthcoming of another volume or volumes, in continuation of this.
In regard to the first part of the charge, I would observe, that if any thing I have said, or others have said for me in these pages, may be the means of drawing the attention of any of my readers, or their friends, to the few copies of my former publications I have yet to dispose of, and now offer, for a limited time, on the very reasonable terms mentioned in the Appendix, I certainly will feel much gratified; and as this will assuredly be quite in accordance with, and in furtherance of, my present attempt, I would fain hope, that, on reconsidering the matter, not one of my kind friends, will be disposed to begrudge me, the opportunity, that my present work offers, for carrying that part of my plan into effect.
And as to the other part of the objection, viz. that I have made my present volume a sort of harbinger, to announce the forthcoming of another, or others, in its train; this, at present, need give no person any concern. For, it must be evident, from what I have said elsewhere, that there may be still much betwixt the cup and the lip in this respect; and that although, there may be no danger of my being in want of materials, or titles to my volumes, as mentioned in page 400, and no likelihood of any want of the WILL, on my part, should circumstances otherwise warrant, and encourage me to go forward, as mentioned in the note at page 404, yet, from various considerations there noticed, it must be apparent, that the best course I can adopt for the present, is to drop all idea of any thing of the kind, until we see, what TIME, which works so many changes, will produce.
And, in the meantime, I must proceed, with the aid of my kind friends, to what is now evidently my first consideration, viz. the winding up of the present concern, with all possible expedition, and other matters enumerated towards the close of the note above alluded to; in order that, I may be the better enabled to make my present efforts, so soon as possible, available, for the purposes for which they were originally intended :—and in the further cultivation and prosecution of our little HOME TRADE or RETAIL BUSINESS, which, I trust, the fruits of these exertions will be the means of enabling us to carry on with more advantage to our selves, and satisfaction to our kind customers; who, I confidently hope, will not be inclined to think the worse of us, after being put in possession of these afflict. ing details,―accompanied as they are, by so many flattering testimonials, and other corroborating evidence, that, as I have before observed, these misfortunes, were not according to our deservings ;—but on the contrary-(while my partner is able to maintain the situation, to which she has been so long accustomed, at the back of the counter, and I am able to superintend the business generally, and to afford all the assistance requisite, in my own more particular department, or depart ments)-be disposed still, to continue to favour us with a share of their kind orders; -for which, and what other proportion of the public favour, a kind Providence may be pleased to send us,-as well as for the obliging patronage we have so largely experienced on the present occasion, I fervently trust-WE SHALL NEVER
CEASE TO BE GRATEFUL!
DUNBAR, July 1, 1833.
A SHORT ANALYSIS OF THE CONTENTS
OF THE DIFFERENT CHAPTERS:
Intended to serve as a key to the dates-and a few of the principal subjects treated of, being all that is deemed necessary, in a work, where brevity has been studied, in the construction of the chapters in general, and each is accompanied at its respective head, with so luminous and comprehensive an analysis, or table, of its contents.
CHAPTER I. Introductory.-One half of the world knows not how the other
CHAP. IV. Introductory, Continued.-A single specimen, or testimonial, in behalf of sundry of my performances-A saying of Solomon's rightly interpreted -The Cheap Magazine, how characterised by the editor of the Philanthropist -Noticed with approbation by Mr Wilberforce, CHAP. V. Introductory, Continued.-The author's accordance in the opinion of the Apostle, that "if any would not work, neither should he eat"-His consequent early habits of industry and application to business-No way abated as he gets forward in the world-Confident but affecting appeal, &c. CHAP. VI. Introductory, Continued -Reason for adopting the present title for my book-Natural_division of time in the years of a Sexagenarian—The evening of life, a solemn and important season-Conduct of the author, upon arriving at, or passing the boundary of, THREESCORE, CHAP. VII. Introductory, Continued. The whole period of my existence, almost one continued struggle-What else to be expected in a state of probation -Opinion of Plutarch, as deducible from the light of nature.-Adversity, according to Lord Bacon, the blessing of the New Testament-Man is indeed born to trouble-His most becoming conduct in the present state-Sundry examples of human suffering-Tribulation, the Christian's legacy, CHAP. VIII. Introductory, Concluded.-Reasons for congratulation and satisfaction in the exercise of our duty, although our success comes not up to our expectations-Still one comfortable reflection, the having done all in our power to ensure success-Reasons why, I should, yet be up, and be doing, CHAP. IX. 1815.-The time when my "LATTER STRUGGLES" may be said to have commenced-How ascertained to have been just upon the eve of my passing the boundary line betwixt my forty-fifth and forty-sixth year-Lamentable consideration,-Prospects in embryo,
CHAP. X. 1815, Continued.-The Monthly Monitor may be viewed in the light of a continuation of the Cheap Magazine-Extracts from its title, &c-Lines to the memory of one of my correspondents, viz. Mr James Graham of Berwick-upon-Tweed-Circumstances that must have contributed to my serenity of mind in the spring of 1815-Other motives for pleasing reflection, CHAP. XI. 1815, Continued.-Happy and comfortable situation in which I was placed, on the forenoon of the 11th April,-How my family were distributed, and then employed-No example of idleness from me-Affectionate testimony of a dutiful son,-Sundry effects traced to secondary causes, &c. 311
CHAP. XII-1815, Continued.First volume of my Monthly Monitor com-
consequences of hope deferred-Lose my last hold of the anchor of hope,
CHAP. XVII.-1816, continued.-The great pervading and operating princi-
CHAP. XXI.—1817, continued. My own GHOST story at the Inn of Dal.