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I had rather be a kitten, and cry, mew!
Such shameless Bards we have ; and yet 'tis true,
PrintED FOR JAMES CAWTHORN, BRITISH LIBRARY,
No. 24, COCKSPUR STREET,
With regard to the real talents of many of the poetical persons whose performances are mentioned, or alluded to, in the following pages, it is presumed by the Author that there can be little difference of opinion in the Public at large; though, like other sectaries, each has his separate tabernacle of proselytes, by whom his abilities are overrated, his faults overlooked, and his metrical canons received without scruple and without consideration. But the unquestionable possession of considerable genius by several of the writers here censured, renders their mental prostitution more to be regretted. Imbecility may be pitied, or, at worst, laughed at and forgotten; perverted powers demand the most decided reprehension. No one can wish more than the Author, that some known and able writer had undertaken
their exposure, but Mr. GIFFORD has devoted him. self to Massinger, and in the absence of the regular physician, a country practitioner may, in cases of absolute necessity, be allowed to prescribe his nostrum to prevent the extension of so deplorable an epidemic, provided there be no quackery in his treatment of the malady. A caustic is here offered, as it is to be feared nothing short of actual cautery can recover the numerous patients afflicted with the present prevalent and distressing rabies for rhym. ing.--As to the Edinburgh Reviewers; it would, indeed, require a Hercules to crush the Hydra : but if the Author succeeds in merely " bruising one of the heads of the serpent,” though his own hand should suffer in the encounter, he will be amply satisfied.