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My boy th' unwelcome hour is come
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care.
What character, what form thou wilt assume,
From constant converse with I know not whom ;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what views,
And artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose.
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Is all chance medley and unknown to me."

COWPER.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR LUPTON RELFE,

13, CORNHILL.

1823.

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PREFACE.

When I present to the public eye the feeble aberrations of my fancy, or the delineations of characters and relation of events, it is with the hope of meeting with generous indulgence and a partial perusal. Not aspiring to obtain fame, or attempting to court applause, I shall feel I have met with indulgence if I escape censure.

In the following Tale I have endeavoured to remember, that fancy in my hands could never supply the place of probability. I have related only incidents which human life may every day present, and I have drawn only characters which a very short acquaintance with the world will prove can really exist.

It avails but little towards the improvement of our hearts, or the regulation of our feelings, to read of vices from which we should shrink

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