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PREFACE.

On some of the subjects considered in the following pages, men, equally wise and good, think very differently: I presume, however, that there can be but oné opinion entertained respecting other topics brought under review. The expediency and necessity of bestowing immediate attention on the general improvement of Ireland, are points which scarcely: admit of any contrariety of sentiment;' though it is not to be supposed that the same unanimity will prevail in judging of the means by whichi this important object is to be accomplished2

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He who wishes well to mankind, will naturally desire to do good on the largest

necessa

scale which his power 'will admit; but a very little acquaintance with human nature will convince him, that in order to benefit men effectually, it is necessary to carry even the schemes of benevolence into execution gradually. For, as labour is greatly facilitated, is well as its quantity augmented by its livision, so the facility of doing good, and he certainty of ultimately succeeding in very design for its accomplishment, deend very much on allowing our operations o be under the direction of a similar principle.

I am aware that I may have entered too illy into the consideration of the advaniges of a national system of education, iewed as a question in political science.

flatter myself, however, that the remarks n this subject will tend to illustrate the tility of affording moral and religious intruction to the inferior orders; and may aggest hints on the means which should e employed for ameliorating the state of reland.

KM

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It was once intended to have entered very fully into the consideration of the poetry, customs, and superstitions of the native Irish; but these topics will probably be made the subject of a future publication.

London,
April 14th, 1812.

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