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MADAM, DURING the last forty years, I have been in the constant habit of holding you up to my pupils and young friends, as an extraordinary example of Genius, Taste, Industry, and Perseverance, honourable alike to your sex and country. • My admiration of your first select exhibition in London led me to seek the honour of your acquaintance; and I have always found that the qualities of your head and heart correspond in excellence with the rare works which you have produced with your needle, and which for so many years have been a permanent ornament of the metropolis.
In prefixing your name, therefore, to this volume, I yield simple homage to my own feelings of respect and admiration; and though your example would be so difficult of imitation, yet an approximation may be within the power of many, and an attempt would be useful to all.
Nor is it only in genius, talent, and perseverance, that I am anxious to do feeble justice to your merits, for I have often heard of you as an affectionate Daughter, a kind Sister, a generous Aunt, and sympathizing Friend—relations in which the mind and character of woman are so pleasingly exalted, when their duties are performed with zeal and feeling.
I am likewise encouraged to prefix your name to this volume, because at sundry times you have been pleased to stimulate my own exertions by your approbation; while your long experience as the conductor of a seminary, qualified you to estimate the duties with accuracy, and the difficulties of performing them with perfect satisfaction to all parties. I am, Madam, With unfeigned respect,
Your obliged, honoured,
Middlesex, Sept. 21, 1826.
· The object of this volume is to provide a pleasing Text-Book for the perusal of young females during a course of liberal education. The Authoress commenced them to relieve herself from the want of employment, to which, in the management of a large seminary, she had been accustomed for many years. She yielded her establishment to some nieces, thinking that ease and reflection better suited her seventieth year; but her affections, as appears by these pages, have carried her back to her former family.
She had long used in her seminary the elegant Letters of Mrs. Chapone, but she always lamented the circumscribed character of that volume, and the extremely narrow limits of the studies to which it directs the youthful attention. It appeared to her, therefore, that a volume whose objects were more adapted to the expanded views of modern education, would prove most acceptable, not only to her successors, but perhaps to every finished Governess and Schoolmistress.