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Pringle, Dr. Richardson, Dr. Fothergill, and Mr. Costard) those thanks would come too late, which to the surviving contributors are nevertheless very cordially paid.
The life of a private tradesman, however distinguished as a scholar, cannot be expected to "abound in adventure * ;' and in fact the Anecdotes of Mr. Bowyer are few, when compared to the many that are introduced of his learned friends. But the principal figure of the piece stands every where foremost on the canvass; and the other persons of whom anecdotes are occasionally introduced were connected with him by the ties of friendship or of business.
Some anachronisms have unavoidably arisen, from the work's having been so long passing through the press : but these are obvious, and will readily be pardoned; as will also the variety of style which may be discerned throughout this performance, It was sometimes almost impossible to change the expressions in which my intelligence was received ; nor was it always necessary, The volume may perhaps be not less amusing (I am sure it is more authentic) by being illustrated with the notes of my friendly correspondents, and very frequently by the genuine sentiments of the writers of whom memoirs are here exhibited.
Convinced that I am “walking upon ashes under which the fire is not extinguishedt," I have endeavoured to guard against every species of misrepresentation. That errors may have intruded, is highly probable—but what work of such a nature was ever perfect ?-I flatter myself that many of my friends, in various parts of the kingdom, will testify, that neither trouble nor expence has been spared in my enquiries; and in the Appendix I have chosen rather to appear triflingly minute, than to suffer articles to remain which it was in my power to correct or improvę. . .
* Goldsmith, Life of Parnell.
t- "incedens per ignes
Suppositos cineri doloso."
Hor. Carm. II. i.7.
The whole is now cheerfully submitted to the publick; with an assurance, that whatever hints may lead to the improvement of a future edition will be most thankfully received, and properly regarded....
June 11, 1782.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION, IN 1812. DURING an interval of Thirty Years, amidst the cares and anxieties attendant on an unremitted application to a great variety of professional duties, it has been one of my amusements to revise occasionally the former Edition of these “Anecdotes ; " and to avail myself of the several hints for improving it, which the kindness of my friends, or the criticism of various writers who have honoured it with their notice, have from time to time thrown out. My stock of intelligence having thus imperceptibly increased, I had an inclination, in the year 1790, to have' ventured on a new Edition; but was diverted from that intention by the accumulated toil of a County History, which demanded no small portion of the time I was able to allot to the amusements of Literature.
Still, however, having persevered in filling the margins of my interleaved copy, and in reducing the chaotic form of my original volume to somewhat of a more regular consistence; in May 1802 I once more began to print; and, by slow degrees, had got through nearly half the Work, when my progress was suddenly retarded, by a calamity which had well nigh disheartened me from again resuming the task either of Editor or Printer. But, on a serious conviction that despair was equally useless and criminal, I determined to begin my labour anew; the fruits of which, such as they are,
after being four years longer in the press, are again submitted to the publick. To use the words of a learned Critic *, “ The fire which destroyed the first part of the impression has given an opportunity of increasing the materials, and of improving the Work: thus it may be truly said, that
- incendia lumen Præbebant, aliquisque malo fuit usus in illo."
Many imperfections, I am sensible, may be discovered in these volumes, by those who open a book to search only for its faults; but from the very favourable reception which the first Edition experienced, not only from the partiality of Friends, but from the Editors of every periodical publication without exception ; I cannot but confidently hope for that indulgence which the peculiar nature of the Work induces me to expect. Unremittingly employed in ushering into the world the works of others, my own have been laid aside, and resumed, again and again, to suit the convenience of Authors anxious for dispatch. Hence delay has unavoidably arisen ; and hence I have still, as in the former Edition, to apologize for anachronism; the Fourth and Fifth Volumes, having been printed earlier than the Second and Third. In winding up the volumes, additions have been largely made to each of them; but I would rather incur the chance of being censured for being too minute, than suffer errors to remain which I had myself detected. The Additions, I hope, will more than atone for the Errors; and a
* Valpy's Classical Journal, 1811, No. XI. p. 251. + See vol. III. pp. 296304; vol. IV. p. 713.
reference reference to the Index will settle any apparent inconsistency.- As has before been observed, I have not attempted elegance of style. The communications of Correspondents being in general given in their own language, uniformity in that respect was impracticable: nor was it needful; clearness and conciseness being much more material than ornament.
In two or three instances, I am aware that a small article has been repeated; not, the Reader may be assured, for the purpose of swelling the size, as materials in plenty were at hand; but, in a work so miscellaneous and so extended-arranged amidst the thousand distractions of business, the interruptions of illness, and sometimes of an occasional excursion in the country—a lapse of memory, at sixtyseven, it is hoped, will be forgiven. In several cases, I have made the amende honorable ; and punished myself by the additional labour and expence of canceling the leaves, and substituting new articles in their stead. -- May I shelter myself under the same excuse for the insertion of a few passages, which in a young man would be imputed to egotism or vanity?
If, in any of these pages, I may appear to have borrowed largely from others, let it be recollected that others have borrowed largely from me; and that I frequently am only reclaiıning my own.
One of the most melancholy retrospects I have to noticeis, the loss of numberless Friends, who wereliterary contributors to the former Edition, and by whom the present volumes have been considerably benefited. Among these, the most prominent are, Dr. JohnSON, Mr. Steevens, Mr. Cole, Mr. Ashby, Mr.