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TO

THE PUBLIC.

THE very favourable reception given to the ROLLIAD, and PROBATIONARY Odes, has induced the Editor to conceive, that a collection of political feus d'Esprits, by the authors of those celebrated performances, would prove equally acceptable. Various publications upon a similar plan have already been attempt. ed; but their good things have been so scantily interspersed, that they have appeared like GRATIANO's reasons, “ as two grains of wheat in a bushel of “ CHAFF.” In the present Edition are contained not only a number of pieces which have at different times been given

- to the Public, but also a variety of Ori

ginal Articles, which but for the flattering confidence of private friendship, would have still remained in the closets of their · authors. MISCELLANIES, indeed, in any

state, from the variety which they afford, must ever be attractive; but, when added to this inherent advantage, they also possess the benefit of a proper selection, their attraction must of necessity become materially enhanced. The fame of the Authors of the following sheets is too well established in the mind of every person of taste and literature, to derive any aid from our feeble panegyric. It is only to · be lamented that, from the peculiar circumstances under which these their poetical offspring make their appearance, the Parents' names cannot be announced to the world with all that parade which accompanies a more legal intercourse with the Muses. Perhaps, however, the vigour and native energy of the Parents, appear much more prominent in these ar

dent inspirations of nature, than in the 2. cold, nerveless, unimpassioned efforts of a

- legitimate production. It may here' be

objected by some fastidious critics, that if writings, evidently so reputable to the fame of the authors, are of such a construction as to be unfit to be acknowledged, that they are equally unfit for publication : but let these gentlemen recollect, that it has ever been held perfectly justifiable to utter those sarcasms under a masque, which the strict rules of decorum would render inadmissible in any other situation. The shafts of ridicule have universally been found more efficacious in correcting folly and impertinence, than the most serious reproof; and while we pursue the example of Pope, Swift, ARBUTHNOT, ADDISON, and others of the wittiest, the wisest, and the best men of the age in which they lived, we shall little fear the cavils of ill-nature. If it should be urged that the subjects of these political productions are merely temporary, and will be forgotten with the hour which gave them birth ; let it at the same time be recollected, that though the heroes of the Duniad have sunk into their native

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obscurity, the reputation of the poem which celebrated their worth, still retains its original splendour. And, in truth, as a matter of equity, if blockheads and dunces are worthy to be recorded in the · Poet's page, why may not Privy Councillors and Lords of the Bedchamber demand a similar exaltation?

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