ll, reading is often the most irksome task of the three. In this last case, however, the remedy is generally easy; one may throw aside the volume, and abuse the author. If there are books which MUST be read, stupid or not, owing to the claim of some great name on the binding, the present story is not one of the number; and perhaps the perfect liberty enjoyed by the reader under such circumstances--to like or dislike independent of critics, to cut every leaf, or skip a dozen chapters at a time without fear of reproach--will incline him to an amiable mood. It is to be hoped so; it will be unfortunate if, among many agreeable summer excursions both on terra firma and in the regions of fancy, the hour passed at Longbridge should prove a tedious one: in such a case the fault will belong entirely to the writer of the narrative, for there are certainly some very pleasant and very worthy people among the good folk of Longbridge.
---------, August, 1845.