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THE

SEASONS OF LIFE;

WITH

AN INTRODUCTION

ON THE

CREATION, AND PRIMEVAL STATE OF MAN.

BY MARY ASHDOWNE.

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO.,

STATIONERS' HALL COURT.

1839.

618.

.

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AN

JOHN LEIGHTON, PRINTER, JOHNSON'S COURT, FLEET STREET,

DEDICATION.

TO LADY HARDINGE.

as

MADAM

When you honoured me with your kind permission to dedicate the following sheets to your Ladyship, I felt assured that the sanction you had given to my humble attempt would be a sufficient guarantee to the Public that the motives by which I was actuated were such

you

considered both valid and commendable ; but I confess I also felt that, in proportion to the value of your Ladyship's patronage, my responsibility was increased, and the temerity of my undertaking rendered the more apparent ; and it was with no little difficulty that I silenced my own fears lest the Work should be found not only inadequate to the importance of the subject, but greatly inferior to your expectations. To have al lowed these apprehensions to paralyze my exertions

would, indeed, have been a fatal weakness ; but the countenance and support your Ladyship so generously afforded me, happily had the contrary effect, by stimulating, rather than discouraging me, as I proceeded to fill up the outline of my Work. And though I am fully conscious that the performance might have been infinitely superior, I can assure your Ladyship that I thoroughly appreciate the encouragement you so promptly gave to my inexperienced pen, nor can I forget that to your example I owe much of that generous sympathy which has since rewarded my efforts.

That your Ladyship may long live to enjoy blessings equal to your moral worth, and find in the affections of a beloved Family every temporal happiness, is the sincere prayer of

Your Ladyship’s

Most obliged and grateful servant,

MARY ASHDOWNE.

Tonbridge, April, 1839.

PREFACE.

ALTHOUGH it might generally be considered unnecessary for me to trouble the reader with any prefatory observations, the opportunity it affords me of discharging the debt of obligation I owe to the numerous and highly respectable persons who have honoured me with their names as Subscribers, will, I trust, be a sufficient excuse for trespassing on their patience. Before I allude to the Work, therefore, I beg to return my grateful thanks to the Nobility and Gentry, as well as to those kind Friends, who, both personally and through their respective connexions, have so liberally responded to the appeal I deferentially submitted to the Public in the form of a PROSPECTUS,-a portion of which I here insert, inasmuch as it conveys some notion of the present Work, while at the same

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