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Preface, page iii:-


THE speedy sale of the first edition of this work, has induced the publishers to use their best endeavours to make the present one still more worthy of public encouragement, by subjecting it to such alterations and improvements as were judged necessary to complete its design,- and of which it may be here proper to give some account.
The many imperfections of style and composition which but too evidently appeared in the first impression, are attempted to be rectified in this. Some additional matter is introduced into the body of the text, and a few notes are inserted on incidental subjects which were thought to be properly allied to the leading one. An ADDENDA is subjoined, containing a collection of several valuable miscellaneous pieces which have occasionally appeard respecting the lakes. And a friend of the publishers has communicated an original article, called A TOUR TO THE CAVES, which, it is hoped, will not only entertain, but be found particularly accurate as to matter of fact.-
Preface, page iv:-
In short, the publishers have done every thing in their power to make this GUIDE as complete and useful as its object is curious and popular.
GUIDES of every description should be well acquainted with the regions in which they exercise their vocation; and it must be natural for the purchasers of this manual to wish to know something of its author, and the pretensions he has to claim their implicit confidence in the character he assumes. This curiosity may now be properly indulged, as he is no longer within reach of either praise or censure;- but what we have to say on the subject will be very short.
MR. WEST, late of Ulverston, author of this tract, and also of the Antiquities of Furness, is supposed to have had the chief part of his education on the Continent, where he afterwards presided as a professor in some of the branches of natural philosophy: whence it will appear, that, though upon some account or other, he had not acquired the habit of composing correctly in English, he must nevertheless have been a man of learning. He had seen many parts of Europe, and considered what was extraordinary in them with a curious, if not with judicious, and philosophic eye. Having in the latter part of his life much leasure time on his hands, he frequently accompanied genteel parties on the Tour of the Lakes; and after he had formed the design of drawing up his Guide, besides consulting the most esteemed writers on the subject (as Dr. Brown, Messrs. Gray, Young, Pennant, &c.), he took several journeys, on purpose to examine the lakes, and to collect such information concerning them, from the neighbouring gentlemen, as he thought necessary to complete the work, and make it truly deserving of its title. From these particulars, and the internal evidence of the following pages, it is presumed
Preface, page v:-
the reader will be satisfied that the author was, in the most essential respects, well qualified for his undertaking. And should some of his digressions into antiquity be thought too long, or a few descriptions want precision, and now and then a station be dubiously pointed out - if, on the whole, the matter be selected by no uniform plan - let it be remembered, few writers of tours have been able to avoid blemishes of this kind, and that the chief end of the work is accomplished, if, along with due copiousness, it be authentic in the principal articles of local information.
Before the author's death (which happened very lately [1]) he had collected some new matter for this tract, which is introduced in the present edition in the manner he designed; but the revision of the language, &c. mentioned before, fell of course to another person; and, in justice to him and the author, it is proper to say here in what manner it has been executed.
As there is something particular, and often pleasing in the author's strokes of description, and manner of thinking, care has been taken, all along to preserve his ideas as much as possible, in his own order, terms, and mode of construction. A few needless repetitions aud (sic) redundancies have, indeed, been retrenched, but little has been added which was not necessary to complete the sense. On this account, as the work is in itself more of an useful than entertaining nature, it is presumed the judicious reader will not yet expect elegance of language, but be satisfied if, on the whole, he find it decently perspicuous and correct.
September 28, 1779.
[1] Mr. WEST died the 10th of July, 1779, at the ancient seat of the Stricklands, at Sizergh, in Westmorland, in the sixty-third year of his age; and, according to his own request, was interred in the choir, or chapel, belonging to the Strickland Family in Kendal Church.- As he was a man of worth as well as ingenuity, this further short memorial of his exit will not need an apology.
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