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TATL E R;
ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esq.
Sir Richard Steaks,
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
Printed for HARRISON and Co. N° 18, Paternofter Row
T HE ftate of converfation and bufinefs in this town having been long perplexed with Pretenders in both kinds; in order to open mens eyes against fuch abufes, it appeared no unprofitable undertaking to publish a Paper, which fhould obferve upon the manners of the pleafurable as well as the bufy part of mankind. To make this generally read, it feemed the moft proper method to form it by way of a Letter of Intelligence, confifting of fuch parts as might gratify the curiofity of perfons of all conditions, and of each fex. But a work of this nature requiring time to grow into the notice of the world, it happened very luckily, that, a little before I had refolved upon this defign, a Gentleman had written predictions, and two or three other pieces in my name, which had rendered it famous through all parts of Europe; and by an inimitable spirit and humour, raised it to as high a pitch of reputation as it could poffibly arrive at.
By this good fortune the name of ISAAC BICKERSTAFF gained an audience of all who had any tale of wit; and the addition of the ordinary occurrences of common Journals of News brought in a multitude of other readers. I could not, I confefs, long keep up the opinion of the town, that thefe Lucubrations were written by the fame hand with the first works which were published under my name; but before I loft the participation of that Author's fame, I had already found the advantage of his authority, to which I owe the fudden acceptance which my labours met with in the world.
The general purpofe of this Paper is to expofe the falfe arts of life; to pull off the difguifes of cunning, vanity, and affectation; and to recommend a general fimplicity in our drefs, our difcourfe, and our behaviour. No man has a better judgment for the difcovery, or a nobler fpirit for the contempt, of all impofture, than yourfelf; which qualities render you the most proper patron for the Author of thefe Effays. In the general, the defign, however executed, has met with fo great fuccefs, that there is hardly a name now eminent among us for power, wit, beauty, valour, or wifdom, which is not fubfcribed for the encouragement of thefe volumes. This is, indeed, an honour, for which it is impoffible to exprefs a fuitable gratitude; and there is nothing could be an addition to the pleasure I take in it but the reflection, that it gives me the most confpicuous occafion I can ever have, of fub- · fcribing myfelf,
Your moft obliged, moft obedient,
And most humble Servant,