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GEORGE PHILIPS, ES2.
You must forgive me, my dear friend, for having gratified, without your partici pation, a wish which I have long entertained, to dedicate these volumes to you. This, indeed, is the only part of the work on which your judgment has not been consulted. Within the circle of our acquaintance, no account of the motives for this dedication will be demanded: to the public let me say, that it is a tribute due, on my part, to a long-tried and perfect friendship, cemented by the love of letters, and destined, I trust, never to admit interruption or decay.
most truly and faithfully your's,
AMONG Soine advantages, there are considerable inconveniences experienced, by that small, but not unworthy class of authors, who write their own books.
If they enjoy some consciousness of meriting success, they feel more acutely, when their works are neglected, or misunderstood. By an exclusive attention to their peculiar objects, they sometimes lose sight of the current of public taste, and are astonished to find the fruits of their labour rejected with disdain, or viewed with indifference.
They enter, also, the awful courts of criticism under great disadvantages. The author who borrows the pen of a popular writer, finds himself admitted to the bench, is graciously received and power
fully protected. Mean time, the friendless and solitary composer of his own productions stands trembling at the gate, or listens to his sentence of condemnation, from a judge who has scarcely deigned to examine his cause.
Even the mighty talents of BENTLEY sustained a temporary injustice, in the public estimation, from this cause, during the controversy respecting the Epistles of Phalaris. Yet in his time, the field of literary warfare was more openly contested, than at present. No periodical depredators, under the disguise of critics, then infested the highways of knowledge, to attack the peaceable traveller, and to exult in the dismay which their assault might occasion. But Prejudice, however vile, rules the destiny of genius, and her, most unjust decrees have sometimes been reversed, only by late posterity.
It is another disadvantage of original composition, that when it succeeds in the first instance, it creates, somewhere, a strenuous opposition. The triumph of an