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LONDON:

A. HALL, VIRTUE, & CO., 25 PATERNOSTER ROW.

STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED

BY WILLIAM MACKENZIE, 48 LONDON STREET,

GLASGOW.

PREFACE.

HAVING, from causes of a physical nature, much leisure time upon my hands, I amused myself by working into a story, my recollections of certain boyish escapades at a private tutor's. My reason for selecting such a theme was twofold. In the first place, it struck me, that while volume after volume had been devoted to "Schoolboy Days," and "College Life," the mysteries of that paradise of public-school-fearing mammas-a "Private Tutor's"yet continued unrevealed; and I resolved to enlighten these tender parents as to the precise nature of the rosebed into which they were so anxious to transplant their darlings. In the second place, I wished to prove to the young Hopefuls themselves, that a lad, hitherto shielded from evil by the hallowing influences of home, may successfully resist the new trials and temptations to which, on this his first essay in life, he may be subjected; that the difficulties which surround him, will yield to a little firmness and decision; and that such a course, steadily persisted in, will alike gain him the esteem of his companions, and lay the foundation of the character which it should be his aim to support through life-viz., that of a Christian and a gentleman. With such views, the earlier

"Scenes from the Life of a Private Pupil" were written, and appeared originally in the pages of "SHARPE'S MAGAZINE." The tale proved popular, and was continued at the request of the then editor, till it attained its present limits.

In the delineation of character, my desire has been to paint men as they are, rather than as they should be; and the moral (if moral there be) is to be derived quite as much from their faults as from their virtues. To this design must also be traced all inconsistencies of character,-as, for example, when Frank Fairlegh, possessing sufficient religious principle to enable him to look upon duelling as a crime which no combination of circumstances can justify, yet becomes involved in such an affair himself. These shortcomings doubtless evince a lamentable contrast to the perfection of the stereotyped novel hero; but as it has never been my good fortune to meet with that faultless monster, a perfectly consistent man, or woman, I prefer describing character as I find it.

Should this, my first work, fall into the hands of my former Tutor, let me take this opportunity of thanking him for the trouble he bestowed upon a graceless boy, who even then possessed sufficient sense to perceive and appreciate his many high and endearing qualities. If any of my fellow-pupils peruse these pages, and, recognizing certain incidents of their boyish days, seek to fit my ideal sketches to living prototypes, let me beg them to bear in mind that the character of RICHARD CUMBERLAND is purely fictitious, and introduced, like that of WILFORD, to satisfy the requirements of a tale writer, and enable me to work out the details of my story. In regard to the other dramatis personæ, although I have occasionally taken a hint from

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