clouded by unseemly language, and buried by a tiresome abundance of repetitions. I do not mean to blame them for not having been sufficiently literal in their versions ; because the idioms of the two languages are so different, that all the spirit of the original must vanish if the copy be made too close. The attempting to render word for word any work from one language into another is a foolish and useless undertaking; because it precludes the possibility of expressing the sense of the author. It will be readily seen, therefore, that I do not mean to give a literal, but a liberal translation of Sturm: his repetitions of the same things, and many such there are, I have avoided; some of his inaccuracies ventured to correct, and have omitted some trifling passages, which lessened the weight and dignity of the subject; and every-where, by an attention to style, have endeavoured to give it the spirit of an original work. In doing this I have been anxious to preserve the same fervent strain of piety which animated the worthy author; and in presenting this work to the public, in a more elegant dress and convenient form, I am not conscious of having at all perverted the spirit of the original, or derogated from the dignity of the

subject. This edition, though translated by the same hand as that erroneously said to be by the Author of the Adviser, differs in some respects from that translation, which was composed very hastily, and came from the press with some inaccuracies. Some of the concluding sentences, which were omitted before, are now restored, as tending to promote the cause of religion and the practice of humanity; and many corrections have been made.

I cannot conclude, without sincerely congratulating the public upon the increase of piety, and the more general diffusion of knowledge, in this country. Our children are leaving the worse than foolish tales of Tom Thumb, Goody Twoshoes, Little Red Riding-hood, Jack the Giant Killer, and many more productions of like nature, all tending to vitiate their young minds, fill them with absurd notions, and encourage a love of the marvellous, and a dislike to plain truth; for works savouring more of probability, and tending to conduct them through the paths of virtue to the temple of fame. The present work I venture to recommend to young people, with a firm confidence in its improving the mind and ameliorating

the heart. It will be particularly useful to those whose reading is not very extensive, as containing much useful information in natural history and natural philosophy, conveyed in language intelligible to young children, and every-where abounding with devotion warm from the heart.

« ForrigeFortsett »