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the lips and awaken the sympathies of the Minstrel and the Gondolier of the South.
The Prince of Roman Critics takes the highest ground when he makes the assertion,
"Carmine Dî superi placantur, carmine Manes."1
Of all Inventors, the Son of the Muses is best entitled to sound the "Evpnka," and shout "Io triumphe!" for he is the discoverer of the fulcrum, vainly sighed for by Archimedes, on which to rest the lever that can move the world! Would that a power, so mighty were always turned to a good account: would that it were always employed to direct the counterpoise on which it acts further from the dark Chaos of Vice and Profanity, and nearer to the glorious Sun of Truth would that it were oftener enlisted on the side of Virtue; then might it prove the true Philosopher's Stone, changing all it touches to gold.
In submitting his Maiden Work to the notice of the Reviewers, the Author would transpose the speech of the ancient Athenian to his warlike confederate, and say "Hear me: then strike "-if a stroke be necessary. The motto on the Title-page will furnish a clue to the moderate scope of his ambition in the
(1) Horace Epistle I. book ii. v. 138.
present undertaking. "The Golden Age," placed first in the list, as being the most classical theme, and the longest (though it may probably prove the least popular) Piece of the whole, is doubtless a more suitable subject for an Epic Poem: but it was foreign to my purpose to mould it into that shape, or I should have chosen a more regular and sonorous measure. It is a brief Lyrical Narrative—a miniature Draught, presenting the outline and prominent figures, on a reduced scale, (without the amplification, diffusiveness, and colouring,) of the finished Heroic Picture. Notes are appended for the use of general readers.
And now, "most potent, grave, and reverend Seigniors"-Critics and Public-I take my leave; hoping the perusal of this little volume may afford some pleasure, and yield no pain, either intellectual or moral, to the most correct taste. I have endeavoured to steer clear alike of the flats of commonplace and poetastry, and the mists of Cloudland: I must plead guilty to the charge of being "a Fool to Fame," while Fair Desert is the condition of the race, and Honour the garland: but I have no ambition to
66 on the fallen ruins of
build a literary renown
another's name," or by writing ought that would—
No; "teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty bays,
"Oh, grant an honest fame-or grant me none! "2
Whatever fate may attend these productions, their Author will never regret the innocent gratification he has derived from the employment thus afforded when laid aside by ill-health from the duties of a more laborious and lucrative profession: content, in the imaginary prospect of temporary defeat, to inscribe "Invicta" on his Muse's banner, and at the worst, exclaim with Francis I., after the battle of Pavia, "All is lost-save honour!"
While thus prepared against failure, he hopes and anticipates success.
August 18th, 1854.
(1) Pope: Prologue to Satires.
(2) Id. Temple of Fame.