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“I can truly say, that of all the papers I have blotted, which have been a
good deal in my time, I have never written any thing for the public without
the intention of some public good. Whether I have succeeded or not, is not
my part to judge.”—SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE.

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My publisher tells me I ought to write a Preface to these Sketches. Why, I know not; for I have no particular account to give of them, further than this, that although they are the genuine observations that occurred to my mind—in my passage through the world—upon men and things in general, the character of individuality does not belong to them. In this, the moral painter may be compared to the painter of nature. The hills and valleys, the trees, the water, the flowers, and the cottages, in a landscape, may all belong to known genera, yet the specific landscape itself may never .

have been seen.

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