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W ITHOUT encreasing his genius, the Author may have improved his language, in the eleven years, that the following Poems have been in the hands of the Public. Errors in diction might have been committed at twenty-four, which the experience of a riper age may remove; and some exuberances in imagery may be restrained, with advantage, by a degree of judgment acquired in the progress of time. Impressed with this opinion, he ran over the whole with attention and accuracy; and, he hopes, he has brought the work to a state of corre&tness, which will preclude all future improvements.
The eagerness, with which these Poems have been received abroad, are a recompence for the coldness with which a few have affected to treat them at home. All the polite nations of Europe have transferred them into their respective languages; and they speak of him, who brought them to light, in terms that might flatter the Vanity of one fond of fame. In a convenient indifference for a literary reputation, A 3 the
Though the taste, which defines genius, by the points of the compass, is a subjećt fit for mirth in itself, it is often a serious matter in the sale of a work. When rivers define the limits of abilities, as well as the boundaries of countries, a Writer may measure his success, by the latitude under which he was born. It was to avoid a part of this inconvenience, that the Author is said, by some, who speak without any authority, to have ascribed his own productions to another name. If this was
the case, he was but young in the art of
deception. When he placed the Poet in antiquity, the Translator should have been born on this side of the Tweed.
These observations regard only the frivolous in matters of literature; these, however, form a majority in every age and nation. In this country, men of . nuine taste abound ; but their still voice is drowned in the clamours of a multitude who judge by fashion of poetry, as of - dress,