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This work having gone through the press under the superintendence of different gentlemen, it may
necessary, in some measure, to apologize for the very defective state of the first volume. One of the most obvious blunders it may be, however, necessary to particularise; namely, the insertion of the word templar for the temporal artery: this, together with firey for fiery, and others, equally erudite and elegant, are intended as specimens : we trust the reader will find fewer claims for his indulgence, on this score, in the second volume.
“I long ha' thought, my youthfu' friend,
The above quotation I address to the youthful reader; should any “children of a larger growth” deign to bestow an instant's attention on the lucubrations (properly so called), of one entirely unknown to them--I say, that if, in the following pages, they recognise any attempt made to copy the style of the author of " Waverly," they are to ascribe it merely to'a desire I entertain of pursuing that track, which experience has proved to be the best. This desire is, however, untinctured by any ridiculous idea
of rivalling or even competing with the Master I allude to, who, it must be acknowledged, has paid dearly for his popularity, in witnessing the many barbarous inroads attempted on a province he has made peculiarly his own, by a Horde, who may aptly be described as the Vandals of Literature. Caitiffs, with
out one particle of either taste or genius, whose ignorance, superlative as it is, only equals their ar
rogance, from an union of which alone could have
arisen that multiplicity of wretched abortions, which have emanated from the Press; the stagnation of
whose stupidity was from the first prevented, either by the venial soothings of interested Reviewers, or (considering the materials of which such sculls are formed), the incautious application of the scalping
knife of Criticism.
Without participating in the vanity which has urged so many to expose themselves to worse than contempt, by endeavouring to equal the above-mentioned author, whose power of delineating character -is, perhaps, only surpassed by his knowledge of the human heart; I yet have considered it justifiable to avail myself of his method of conducting a narrative
to as great an extent as my ability would admit.
Even this, I am well aware, was an arduous under
taking, and consequently, my hopes of having succeeded, are any thing but sanguine. Were I disposed to trifle on this subject, I might cite an undoubted authority in support of my presumption; and by quoting a couplet of Butler's, put the reader at once into possession of the reasons that incited me to this attempt, and (if I may be allowed the expression) display to him the Doric on which my hopes are supported.
“ Aim then at beauty, and at wit,
Something more than this, I am, however, aware,
necessary to excuse the intrusion of a perfect | stranger, on the notice of the Public, particularly in a
department of Literature, to the highest honours of which there already exist unnumbered pretenders. Without pausing, to define the qualifications requisite.