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William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Part II

The Introduction to the Reader

THE TITLE of this Treatise shows, there was a former of the same Nature; and the Author hopes he runs no Hazard in recommending both to his Reader’s Perusal. He is well aware of the low Reckoning the Labors of indifferent Authors are under, at a Time when hardly any Thing passes for current, that is not calculated to flatter the Sharpness of contending Parties. He is also sensible, that Books grow a very Drug, where they cannot raise and support their Credit, by their own Usefulness; and how far this will be able to do it, he knows not; yet he thinks himself tollerably safe in making it publick, in three Respects.

First, That the Purchase is small, and the Time but little, that is requisite to read it.

Next, Though some Men should not find it relish’d high enough for their finer Wits, or warmer Pallats, it will not perhaps be useless to those of lower Flights, and who are less engaged in publick Heats.

Lastly, The Author honestly aims at as general a Benefit as the Thing will bear; to Youth especially, whether he hits the Mark or not: And that without the least Ostentation, or any private Regards.

Let not Envy misinterpret his Intention, and he will be accountable for all other Faults.