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WHEN I first became acquainted with those productions, which have added a lustre to one of the brightest periods of our literature,—even when that era was dignified with a Hume, a Robertson, a Blair, and a Home,—and which have hallowed your name among the ornaments of your country, small, indeed, were my expectations, that ever it should be my good fortune to make a public acknowledgment to you of the admiration in which I hold your genius, and of the delight which had flowed in upon me from the perusal of writings, wherein taste and genius are ever employed in the cause of humanity and virtue.
When I consider the slight value of the tribute which I have to offer, diffidence must have for ever withheld me from what I now venture on; but, thanks to your indulgent criticism, the case is happily somewhat altered, and it is fame enough for me to know, that the portions of this volume, which have been already published, were honoured with the praises and approval of one,—who is not only the great connecting link between cotemporary literature and that of our fathers, but who has added to the treasures of both ;—the more especially, as the writer of these Poems you have certainly never seen, nor very probably have ever heard his name mentioned.
Deign to accept this token of my admiration and gratitude ; and believe me,
December 1, 1824.