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sink into oblivion for addressing in vain; or what reception the world may give to the poet who is the first to enter deeply into those feelings, and express them first, remains for men more gifted and more zealous than myself to discover.


The Poem which forms the staple of this volume, addresses itself to the humours rather than to the passions of me Chiefly of a comic and of a lightly satiric nature, it makes little pretence to those provinces to which the ambition of poets is usually directed. And, for my own part, even if I possessed far higher endowments for poetry-far warmer inclinations towards it than I ever, in my youngest days of inexperience, imagined I could claim-I own my belief that I have lived too immediately in that day with the style of which the world has grown weary, not to be imbued in the graver school of poetry with the very faults which I should censure in others: and imbued too deeply and from too early a period, to allow much hope of exchanging those faults for faults of a more innovating and unhacknied character. In the comic school it is different; for the comic school has been little cultivated in this country; and originality in that department is therefore easier than in one more severe, and yet seemingly more inviting to disciples. If I have now! accomplished something which, though a tale and a satire, is yet not evidently plagiarised either from Byron or from Butler if, without that wearisome straining for novelty in detail which so rarely leads to any thing better than affectation-.. the matter and the manner be not-on the whole---without some claim to originality-then shall I be fully satisfied.

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That you, my dear Publishers, may be fully satisfied also, is a matter equally desirable, but a little more difficult to effect!


The above observations were written some months ago; since then the aspect of the times has grown more visibly dark and troubled; and the Public, occupied with events of stirring moment, have now some solid reason to be less than ever disposed towards" the recreations of the pleasant loiterer, Poesy." Were this Poem of more value, and of a different nature, I should delay its appearance to a less unpropitious moment. I feel, indeed, a little ashamed to produce, at such times, any thing not more intimately connected with the great causes which now (in the exaggeration of no metaphor) agitate the world. But the crop has been sown, and has ripened, and may stand no longer; in other words, so much of any little attraction my Poem may possess, depends upon the aptness of its allusions to the present day, that in the present day it must seek its fortune. If it have other merit, indeed, the temporary neglect, for which I am prepared, cannot become a permanent oblivion. Without referring to posterity-that last and most perilous appeal of the neglected-a court to which, at this moment, I have not the temerity or the vanity to subject so unimportant a cause-there is yet a lesser and an intermediate tribunal. No man's real reputation, small or great, is made by his exact cotemporaries: it is the generation succeeding, yet

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witnessing his own-the generation some eight or ten years his junior-by which he is tried. To that generation-not in the spirit of dejection or of boasting-but as the first fair and dispassionate tribunal I can obtain, I confide the fate of this work, and of those which, in humbler prose, have been, from the first to the latest, actuated by the same objects-objects that may keep alive in me, indeed, the love of Fame; but which yet can console me, if I am forbidden to attain it.

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THE public have demanded a Second Edition of this Book within so short a time of the appearance of the first, that I have been as yet unable to glean from criticism any suggestions for the correction of the faults with which I am sensible it abounds. Let me, however, take this opportunity of saying one word to my readers, partly in comment on abuse which I have already received, and partly premeditating abuse yet more virulent, with which I have been already threatened. Before a work appears, its author knows exactly the quarters in which he is certain to experience vituperation. He knows well that in one periodical he meets an enemy to his bookseller, in another an enemy to himself the man whose work has been rejected by the publisher who accepts your own--the man who thought himself, at College, a much greater

genius than yourself ;---these gentlemen never forgive you the crime of even moderate success. No sooner do they see the announcement of your work, than they prepare for its destruction ;---with an intuitive penetration they decide on its guilt, while yet in the womb; and before it is born, they have settled exactly the method in which it shall be damned. The reader who, wishing to amuse himself, takes no part either with the author or the critic, will not deem me unreasonable if I request him, for his own sake as well as mine, to look with some reserve and some suspicion at any abuse unsubstantiated by quotation.

It is but honest, and it is also wise, in reading a work, more especially a work of an eccentric description, to bear in mind the object of the author, whether in the manner or the matter, and to make allowance for some faults, without which, perhaps, that object might not have been attained. Thus it has been my wish, in the longest of these poems, to avoid that exuberance of ornament and richness of style common to the poets of the present day in so doing, it was scarcely possible that I should not fall occasionally into triteness and too prosaic a familiarity. To judge fairly of these faults, he who has learnt to criticise must consider, first, whether or not the object sought was judicious; and, secondly, whether or not it was difficult to effect, without the incurrence of the faults I have incurred: he will look upon this experiment as he would upon experiments of another nature; and if in doubt as to its failure or success, he will turn to other quarters for proof of the general skill or general incapacity of him who adventures it. Insist

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