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PICTURE FROM LIFE:
SIR HENRY MORETON.
QUID DECEAT, QUID NON QUÒ VIRTUS, QUÒ FERAT ERROR.
BY HENRY WHITFIELD, M. A.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR S. HIGHLEY,
(SUCCESSOR TO THE LATE MR. JOHN MURRAY)
249. S. 258
HE who endeavours to aid the cause of virtue, to correct human passions and follies, and at the same time to entertain his reader, may justify his claim to the merit of good intentions, even if he should not succeed in his grand object, that of benefiting the community. Among many vulgar errors, perhaps there is not one more prevalent or dangerous than this: "That Novels are unworthy the attention of men of any education or literary acquirements;" I could wish that such trifles, as they are frequently called, were rated higher. The daily demands for them from those accommodating caterers of the public, the Proprietors of Circulating Libraries, prove that they are entertaining. The praises
bestowed upon the writers of these works, from which a knowledge of the world may be safely and cheaply attained or augmented, amount to a full demonstration of their use.
Among the ancients, we must suppose this species of writing to have been unknown, their silence being to be considered as a proof of this desideratum. The Greeks, indeed, are characterised by Juvenal, as bold historians; and we know that Livy has recounted incredible and superstitious wonders, and not a few romantic exploits; as Herodotus also has done. The Satyricon of Petronious Arbiter, whose chief merit worthy of notice is his elegance of stile, has been handed down to us: I believe this may be called a Romance.
The Fabliaux, descriptive of the early ages of chivalry, were numerous in both