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<A FIELDING> <T DAVID SIMPLE> <E SECOND 1744> <B 0> <C 01> <P 3> ((ROMAN NUMBERING)) ((THE PREFACE.)) <L 3> AS SO MANY WORTHY PERSONS HAVE, I AM TOLD, ASCRIBED THE HONOUR OF THIS PERFORMANCE TO ME, THEY WILL NOT BE SURPRIZED AT SEEING MY NAME TO THIS PREFACE: NOR AM I VERY INSINCERE, WHEN I CALL IT AN HONOUR; FOR IF THE AUTHORS OF THE AGE ARE AMONGST THE NUMBER OF THOSE WHO HAVE CONFERRED IT ON ME, I KNOW VERY FEW OF THEM TO WHOM I SHALL RETURN THE COM-+ PLIMENT / OF SUCH A SUSPICION. I COULD INDEED HAVE BEEN VERY WELL CON-+ TENT / WITH THE REPUTATION, WELL KNOWING THAT SOME WRITINGS MAY BE JUSTLY LAID TO MY CHARGE, OF A MERIT GREATLY INFERIOR TO THAT OF THE FOLLOWING WORK; HAD NOT THE IMPU-+ TATION / DIRECTLY ACCUSED ME OF FALSHOOD, IN BREAKING A PROMISE, WHICH I HAVE SOLEMNLY MADE IN PRINT, OF NEVER PUBLISHING, EVEN A PAMPHLET, WITHOUT SETTING MY NAME TO IT: A PROMISE I HAVE ALWAYS HITHERTO FAITHFULLY KEPT; AND, FOR THE SAKE OF MEN'S CHARACTERS, I WISH ALL OTHER WRITERS WERE BY LAW O . . .