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'TIS AN OLD TALE, AND OFTEN

TOLD.

This let me hope, that when in public view
I bring my pictures, men may feel them true:
“This is a likeness," may they all declare,
“And I have seen him, but I know not where."
For I should mourn the mischief I had done,
If, as the likeness, all would fix on one.
No! let the guiltless, if there such be found,
Launch forth the spear, and deal the deadly wound.
How can I so the cause of virtue aid,
Who am myself attainted and afraid ?

CRABBE.

What! write in a book,
Where the learned may look,
Which the critic may con at his leisure ?

LONDON:

PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR,

BY

ROBERT JENNINGS, 62, CHEAPSIDE.

1839.

500,

Printed by J. Haddon, Castle Street, Finsbury.

ADVERTISEMENT.

The fortune of war, or of editorship (mutatis mutandis), has destined us to be the instrument of introducing these papers to the world. We do not, however, consider ourselves amenable for the many errors which they contain, as we are pretty much of Mr. Oldbuck's opinion, that an editor, like a second Teucer, is protected by the shield of his ally; or, to descend to a more inglorious comparison, he resembles the exhibitor of a puppet show, who, although he moves the wires and regulates the mechanism, is neither to be seen nor heard in his own person. Still have we thought it incumbent on us to insert a few notes, as the lapse of fifteen years between the close of the first, and opening of the second book, would incline us to think there must be many anachronisms in the earlier portion of the story; but, as we proceeded, they seemed to grow beneath our hands, and we gave up the task in despair. The work appears to us to be affectedly, and somewhat ostentatiously decorated with pleonasms and pedantic allusions, yet we have, perhaps, . from some unconscious prepossession for the author, been deeply interested in the progress of the narrative, and attracted by some other features in it, which we thought worthy of being preserved from the oblivion to which, but for our intervention, they must infallibly have been consigned. If any other excuse be wanting for our thus appearing in an editorial capacity, we would remind our readers, “gentle and simple,” of that notable remark of the younger Pliny, that he never read a book, however bad, but he derived some profit from it. Emboldened by this observation, we trust that even from the present volume, some little amusement, if not profit, may be deduced.

BOOK I.

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of love,
And feed his sacred flame.

COLERIDGE

B

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