Many years ago, an English translation of the first part of this charming tale appeared; and few books have obtained such deserved popularity. The gradual progress of the family from utter destitution and misery, to happiness and abundance, arising from their own labour, perseverance, and obedience, together with the effect produced on the different characters of the sons by the stirring adventures they met with, created a deep and absorbing interest. Every young reader patronized either the noble Fritz, the studious Ernest, or the generous Jack, and regarded him as a familiar personal acquaintance. The book had but one defect--the death of the talented author left it unfinished, and every reader regretted its abrupt termination. This conclusion was happily supplied by one of the most accomplished and elegant writers of her day, the Baroness de Montolieu; and, sanctioned and approved by the son of the lamented author, the entire work was published in France, and has for many years held a distinguished rank in the [pg iv] juvenile libraries there. For the gratification of a little family circle, this now appears in English; and as, on examining the first part in the original, it was found, that "some new discoveries might be made," it was thought best to re-translate it, subduing the tone of the whole to English taste. The unanimous voices of the beloved circle, for whom the pleasant task was undertaken, have pronounced the result to be eminently successful, and they generously wish, that the whole of the juvenile public of England should share in their satisfaction, and possess a complete Swiss Robinson.
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