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PREFACE.

I PUBLISHED the first edition of this work with fear and

trembling; and though I have somewhat less anxiety on the present occasion, I am very far indeed from feeling confident of success. The very kind and favorable terms in which both the London and Calcutta critics have been pleased to speak of my productions, and the many flattering and most valuable letters that I have received from my native country from authors of unquestionable genius and high celebrity, and to most of whom I am personally a stranger, have encouraged me to publish this new editionthe first being out of print. I could wish it were consistent with delicacy to mention the names of those eminent individuals who have condescended to recognize the claims of an obscure countryman in a foreign land. But though, if it were fitting, I should eagerly adduce such authorities in my favor, and it might possibly be attributed to vanity or presumption, I can safely say that I should be actuated by a very different feeling. They who are confident of their own merits do not readily admit the necessity of such support. Besides, I know how much should be deducted from the praises of a private correspondent, even when that correspondent is a stranger, and has no other aim or interest to serve than the gratification of a generous impulse. But the mere honour of an intellectual intercourse with some of the finest spirits of the age is a fair subject of self-congratulation ; and after every allowance shall be made for the warmth of compliment, I cannot help feeling that enough of commendation will remain to permit of my pleasing myself with the hope, that there may be something in the following pages not wholly unworthy of perusal.

Divided as I am, by such a dreary distance, from all personal association with the many gifted natures with whom I should be proud and delighted to be more intimately acquainted, it is a source of unspeakable gratification to me in this state of exile, that I am still able to continue even so imperfect an interchange of thought and sentiment as is afforded by epistolary converse; and whatever may be the fate of my humble literary efforts, I must always rejoice that they have met the indulgent eye of the persons to whom I venture to allude—that they have increased the list of my friends both here and in England, and that they have whiled away many a weary hour with an innocent amusement.

A comparison of the present edition with the first would show that there are numerous additional verses and prose papers included in the one that were not inserted in the other, and that there is scarcely a single essay which is not in some degree enlarged, and I trust improved.

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