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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.

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