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Memoirs of Emma Courtney by Mary Hays




Preface xvii

Volume I 1

Chapter I 6 Chapter II 8 Chapter III 11 Chapter IV 14 Chapter V 16 Chapter VI 18 Chapter VII 20 Chapter VIII 24 Chapter IX 26 Chapter X 28 Chapter XI 31 Chapter XII 33 Chapter XIII 37 Chapter XIV 41 Chapter XV 46 Chapter XVI 52 Chapter XVII 55 Chapter XVIII 59 Chapter XIX 62 Chapter XX 65 Chapter XXI 68 Chapter XXII 71 Chapter XXIII 73 Chapter XXIV 76 Chapter XXV 79 Chapter XXVI 84 Chapter XXVII 88 Chapter XXVIII 92

Volume II 95

Chapter I 98 Chapter II 102 Chapter III 105 Chapter IV 109 Chapter V 112 Chapter VI 118 Chapter VII 121 Chapter VIII 129 Chapter IX 133 Chapter X 137 Chapter XI 141 Chapter XII 144 Chapter XIII 151 Chapter XIV 154 Chapter XV 157 Chapter XVI 162 Chapter XVII 164 Chapter XVIII 167 Chapter XIX 171 Chapter XX 173 Chapter XXI 176 Chapter XXII 181 Chapter XXIII 184 Chapter XXIV 187 Chapter XXV 190 Chapter XXVI 192 Chapter XXVII 196


The most interesting, and the most useful, fictions, are, perhaps, such, as delineating the progress, and tracing the consequences, of one strong, indulged, passion, or prejudice, afford materials, by which the philosopher may calculate the powers of the human mind, and learn the springs which set it in motion--'Understanding, and talents,' says Helvetius, 'being nothing more, in men, than the produce of their desires, and particular situations.' Of the passion of terror Mrs Radcliffe has made admirable use in her ingenious romances.--In the novel of Caleb Williams, curiosity in the hero, and the love of reputation in the soul-moving character of Falkland, fostered into ruling passions, are drawn with a masterly hand.

For the subject of these Memoirs, a more universal sentiment is chosen--a sentiment hackneyed in this species of composition, consequently more difficult to treat with any degree of originality;--yet, to accomplish this, has been the aim of the author; with what success, the public will, probably, determine.

Every writer who advances principles, whether true or false, that have a tendency to set the mind in motion, does good. Innumerable mistakes have been made, both moral and philosophical:--while covered with a sacred and mysterious veil, how are they to be detected? From various combinations and multiplied experiments, truth, only, can result. Free thinking, and free speaking, are the virtue and the characteristics of a rational being:--there can be no argument which mitigates against them in one instance, but what equally mitigates against them in all; every principle must be doubted, before it will be examined and proved.

It has commonly been the business of fiction to pourtray characters, not as they really exist, but, as, we are told, they ought to be--a sort of _ideal perfection_, in which nature and passion are melted away, and jarring attributes wonderfully combined.

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