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PREFACE DEDICATORY.

FORASMUCH as in the course of this my present labour, which I have undertaken for the benefit of these times, or, if they should prove ungrateful, of posterity; considering the extraordinary and dangerous nature of the materials with which I wrought, (even as one who extracteth fine colours and dyes out of poisonous roots and minerals, or composeth brilliant devices in fire with explosive compounds,) I have felt myself more than ever exposed to the attacks of the NATURAL ENEMIES of all writers whom the world hath honoured with its commendations: and also remembering that certain Cliques have vowed my utter destruction in revenge for having demonstrated that the chief part of salvation is out of their little pales, the panic fear whereof all the generosity and favour of the Public, speaking through its mightiest organs,

have not altogether dissipated !—considering these considerations, I say, the necessity of obtaining some protection for my work and myself did occur to me in a very ghastly manner, even as to a country lass who has parted with her sweetheart, and who perceiveth at a distance an awful TURNIP LANTERN, set by a jealous rival on a hedge, with sharp teeth, flaming eyes, and fearfully pale visage! And even

as she casteth about and debateth in her own mind, hesitating, on a stile, what to do, so did I: and thereupon the practice of the authors our predecessors of the two late centuries, came in my cogitations; who, visited by similar apprehensions, by soliciting the countenance and aid of some powerful friend, in a DediCATION, unconsciously imitated the unlearned conclusion of the apple-cheeked wench when she turneth back a whole corn-field, and requesteth her lover to accompany her past the object, albeit acknowledging the unreal nature of the terrors diffused by the hollow esculent.

Moreover, it seemed to me that in labouring, by example, to restore the Art of Dedication to the esteem it once enjoyed, I should confer a great and substantial benefit on literature. An art, indeed, nearly lost, like that of illuminating upon glass, which it much resembles, the object of both being to substitute a gorgeous glare for the pure insipidity of truth or daylight; but whose advantages, at least to the artist, cannot be denied, and are therefore not to be despised by any modern professor of literature. For although the world hath abandoned some of its favourite traditions relating to the proper treatment of authors, and hath not of late publicly starved any one of the tribe,-yet until the nations do universally arrive at the conclusion that Mind is property as well as MUD; that justice (to say nothing of gratitude) demands that those who supply the highest and noblest wants of humanity should be no worse treated than those who minister to its basest and most animal requirements ; that no point of national policy or well-being is concerned in confiscating the property of a foreign author for the benefit of a native bookseller; and that it is a procedure as unjust, though not so palpable, as to seize a cargo of foreign corn for the use of the native baker, gratis, under pretext that it was not grown by the country into which, for that very reason, it is imported !-until, in brief, an Universal Copyright is conceded to all authors, by all civilized nations, railroad kings will continue to be the richest of men !-and until then the smallest contribution” should be thankfully received by literature; and as a dedication has always been considered a claim on the patron's generosity, to restore the custom is to confer a great literary benefit !

But so great is my alarm-which increaseth with every bold word I enforce myself to utter—that I dare not confide in the protection of one patron only; and

therefore I have selected several, to whom I dedicate the following work under a form of division, which also, in a modest and unpretending manner, expresseth the contents.

To Ladies and Gentlewomen, and indeed to all honest and fair damsels who amuse their leisure hours with profitable perusals, is dedicated all that relates to Beauty's triumphs, disdains, favours, and excellent caprices ; to Lovers, the sweet and amorous parts are feelingly inscribed ; to Soldiers, the martial achievements; to Scholars, the learning; to Historians, the romance; to Romancers, the history ; to Poets, the verse ; to Moralists, the catastrophe; to Critics, all that they find good; and to Posterity, the whole !

In recompense for the distinguished honour which I have thus conferred, all that I demand of the munificence of my patrons (with understanding that it is not to become a precedent) is—that they will believe me when upon my word and honour I assure them that I am myself and nobody else !—that all the conjectures and imputations which have confounded me with divers renowned personages do them the GREATEST INJUSTICE !-that I have never had my portrait put to any book, although I, too, might have taken warning by the doubtfulness of Shakspere's, and used the precaution so diligently observed by the immortal writers of this age, who have themselves carefully seen to the transmission of their features, tastefully idealized on canvas, to posterity !-and that whatever the liberality of foreign and domestic critics may have fathered upon me, I solemnly assure the whole human race that the only compositions of the kind with which I have contributed to its delectation are three in number; whereof the first is entitled “ Whitefriars," the second “Whitehall,” and the third what the puissant reader may readily discover by turning over this leaf, on which I subscribe myself, His or her most obliged and terror-stricken

Servant and Client,

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