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Permit me, Sir, to inscribe to you the following Essays, in testimony of my respect and attachment; and as a slight but sincere acknowledgment of the obligations you have laid me under by your long-continued kindness, as well as of the instruction and pleasure I have derived from your philosophical writings.
THE state of my health having interrupted, for many months past, the continuation of my work on the Human Mind, I was induced to attempt, in the mean time, the easier task of preparing for the press a volume of Essays. I have not, however, abandoned the design which I ventured to announce eighteen years ago; and in the execution of which I have already made considerable progress. After thirty-eight years devoted to the various pursuits connected with my different academical situations, I now indulge the hope of enjoying, in a more retired scene, a short period of private study; and feel myself sufficiently warned, by the approaching infirmities of age, not to delay any longer my best exertions for the accomplishment of an undertaking, which I have hitherto prosecuted only at accidental and often distant intervals; but
which I have always fondly imagined (whether justly or not others must determine) might, if carried into complete effect, be of some utility to the public.
Kinneil-House, 15th June 1810.