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THE Author cannot but feel flattered at the favourable reception this little Work has received from both the Literary and Religious World, and knows no better way of expressing gratitude for this early call for a Second Edition, than by endeavouring to improve it. With this view the remarks of friendly criticism have been listened to with attention, and the Author's thanks are particularly due to the kind suggestions of a FRIEND who chose to be anonymous.
ertracts from the Principal Reviews of this Work.
" WF. wish that the celebrity of Mr. Beresford's publication, (“ The Miseries of Human Life,”) may tend to procure for the present the wide circulation which it descrves; and that the seasonable improvement which our fair au. thor has made of human miseries, may prevent an abuse of that ingenious work."--Eclectic Review.
" While all the preceding writers (authors of Miseries, More Miseries, &c.) have prosecuted the subject of “ Miseries” with attempts at wit and pleasåntry, this author endeavours to give a serious turn to the whole discussion, and to prove, in an appropriate tale, that practical religion is the only. Antidote to the ideal, minor, and real miseries of life.” The subject is well illustrated in a conversation with the widow Placid (a Quaker) and other passengers in a stage-coach: and the fashionable affectation of calling such incidents as breaking a shoe-string, or losing a button, a misery, is properly, exposed. The moral from the whole is, that true Religion will inake us aH happy in a miserable world, a doctrine as important as it is true, and which cannot be too much enforced. Mr. Beresford, as a Clergyınan, will probably not be sorry to fiüd liis frivolities thus seriously terminatech, and his Sensitive and Testy made to yield to the amiably patient, and ciristianly pious, Mrs. Placid. Alonthly Review, Nor. 1807.
"This defect (the want of just sentiment) in Mr. Beresford's work, probably suggested to the aythor of this little volume his leading idea, which is 10 shew that religion is the grand, the only Antidote to human Misery, caming and sweetening the mind,' rendering ii superior to all the evils, great and small, which chequer the path of life. --The tale itself is told in a manner suf ficiently interesting. We extract the following passage as a fair specimen of the author's manner, and as an inducement to ihe younger part of our read. ers 10 peruse the whole, which we think they cannot do without pleasure and iinprovement.” (Here follows a very long quotation.)
Christian Observer, August 1807. The readers of this performance will find a deal of humour ip it, but it is of the inost innocent kind; and it would be uncandid not to say, that its leading design is to suggest the most important truths, in a most inoffensive and inviting manner.....We demur a little on the propriety of inaking a Quaker Lady so profoundly wise, so truly liberal in her sentiments, or so very communicative, when a scholar and an author are present. Such a character is a rara avis indeed; but the other characters are natural enough, and well supported throughout; and we think the author has taken a most agreeable way of fonvincing his readers, that there is, in vital religion, “ An üntidote to every misery which can faj to the lot of human nature.”
Evan. Mag. Jione 1807.
interested by its contents. The 'Squire's opinion of
. Latin quotations. Mrs. Placid makes a sudden transi-
tion from a gay to a grave subject. The effect produced.
An address to the reader. Mrs. Placid proposes to re-
late the bistory of her life, and Miss Finakin composes
herself to sleep...
Miss Finakin awake, and talking of inisery. All parties
busily engaged. Mrs. Placid's treatment of an insolent.
coachman. The 'Squire prefers an inside place with
the ladies to an outside seat with a smart captain. Mrs.
Placid proceeds with her history. The 'Squire's opi-
nion of the doctrine of good works, and the duties of a