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thus dare, en masse, a legion of individuals in many respects gifted with far superior talents to those of the person who has devoted his labours to the completion of this Herculean undertaking.
As I do not pretend to arrogate to myself perfectibility in a literary sense, I have, no doubt, in some instances, been guilty of error; and whensoever such failing may appear to the disparagement of mental worth, I must certainly take shame to myself for a most unpardonable want of discernment; but, on the other hand, if it shall be found that I have committed to paper the language of approval, where a contrary stricture was required, I can only assert, that a lack of acumen upon my part will be amply compensated for when it is remembered, that
Praise undeserved is satire in disguise.'
Every walk of literature possesses its determined advocates; but there is no branch springing from
the main stock which has so many ramifications, and is consequently attended by such a host of admirers, as the class of writers denominated poets; therefore, when once a son of the Muse has en. chanted with the strain of his lyre, the entrancing charm, like that of the basilisk, inebriates the senses of the reader, and from that moment he conceives it impossible that any mediocre performance can depreciate the sublimity of the scribe: it is an absolute assurance of the validity of this statement which first impelled the writer to attempt the subject matter of the ensuing pages, which are only offered as a corrective dose to curb that mental effervescence which, running wild from the track of sober judgment, receives, with indiscriminate plaudit, the flights of legitimate talent, and the
bastard ebullitions of rant and bathos.
As I have been sufficiently explicit in the progress of my pages, it would be superfluous to descant further upon this topic; a long preface to a reader is like a monotonous and undeviating
route to the traveller, who, anxious to arrive at
the termination of his journey, beholds the object constantly in vista without seeming to approximate towards the desired goal. In order, therefore, to escape this charge, which is too frequently, and with justice alleged against the sons and daughters of literature, I shall, though arrogantly, conclude by stating, that
Good wine needs no bouche.