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WAITTAKER AND CO.; SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO.; H. WASHBOURNE;
H. G. BOHN; E. HODGSON ; H. RENSHAW; J. BAIN; HOULSTON AND
TO THE READER.
In my seventy-fourth year, I have the satisfaction of seeing another work of my daughter brought before the public. This was more than I could have expected from my advanced age and declining health.
I have been reprehended by some of the public critics for the notices which I have annexed to my daughter's works. As I do not know their reasons for this reprehension, I cannot submit even to their respectable authority. I trust, however, the British public will sympathize with what a father feels for a daughter's literary success, particularly as this father and daughter have written various works in partnership.
The natural and happy confidence reposed in me by my daughter puts it in my power to assure the public that she does not write negligently. I can assert that twice as many pages were written for these volumes as are now printed.
The first of these tales, HARRINGTON, was occasioned by an extremely well-written letter, which Miss Edgeworth received from America, from a Jewish lady, complaining of the illiberality with which the Jewish nation had been treated in some of Miss Edgeworth's works.
The second tale, Ormond, is the story of a young gentleman, who is in some respects the reverse of Vivian. The moral of this tale does not immediately appear, for the author has taken peculiar care that it should not obtrude itself upon the reader.
Public critics have found several faults with Miss Edgeworth's former works—she takes this opportunity of returning them sincere thanks for the candid and lenient manner in which her errors have been pointed out. In the present Tales she has probably fallen into many other faults, but she has endeavoured to avoid those for which she has been justly reproved.
And now, indulgent reader, I beg you to pardon this intrusion, and, with the most grateful acknowledgments, I bid you farewell for ever.
Richard Lovell Edgeworth.
Edgeworthstown, May 31, 1817.
Note.-Mr. Edgeworth died a few days after he wrote this Preface-the 13th June, 1817.