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soundness of his critical creed, so completely inebranlable, that one may be justified in doubting, whether it could be possible for him to bring himself to cancel, from prudence, that which he had once printed off for publication. So stands the argument on one side ; but ΠΑΝΤΙ ΛΟΓΩ ΛΟΓΟΣ ΙΣΟΣ ΑΝΤΙΚΕΙΤΑΙ, ' as the shrewd Sextus has told us. But, whatever

may

be the editor's opinion with respect to the authenticity of the tract now offered to the public, he finds himself at full liberty to acknowledge, that he has more than once repented of the resolution he had formed to reprint it. He soon found that the sheets were in some places so faint and blotted, and in others so erased and torn, that it was impossible to present it for

* A truism respectfully recognised in this inn. Replication" versus

Plea,"
" 66 Sur-Rebutterversus

66 Rebutter,&c.

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publication, unless in a manuscript co-
py, taken with much pains, and in which
it would be necessary to call in the aid
of conjecture, toward completing the
sense by supplement and interpolation.
Difficult as this appeared in prospect,
he found it still more difficult in execu-
tion : but, though he was often tempted
to abandon his enterprise, a perseverance
almost whimsical at last bore him through
the labour he had undertaken. How he
has acquitted himself in it, it belongs not
to him to say. He may have committed
mistakes ; but he has committed none
that he possessed the means of avoiding.
In the case of one or two proper names,
he is not sure that he

may
not have

supplied the defaced characters incorrectly.

From what has been now stated, this tract must necessarily be supposed to meet the public eye, in a state somewhat different from that in which it came from the pen of its supposed author. The

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characteristic peculiarities of the writer, and that poignancy which distinguishes all his productions, must naturally be found in it, in a disguised and flattened state; and the strictures must have lost, of

course, part of what Temple would call their race ; a word which, applied to wines, in its primitive sense, means the flavour of the soil.”

It was once intended to print the Criticism in a manner resembling the editions of Festus, which distinguish, by a difference of character, the unimpaired passages

in the original, from the supplements and interpolations. But technical reasons were adduced against this mode; to which the editor was obliged to yield, as he possessed not science sufficient to refute them. In place of this contrivance he had substituted another, which would have equally gratified the curi

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osity of the lovers of the imitative arts, for whose entertainment this publication was meant. In imitation of Mr Brooke Boothby,' he meant to have deposited the original in the British Museum, for the inspection of the curious. But, alas ! the late dreadful conflagration, which extended itself, in part, to his chambers, deprived him of the power of executing what he had planned. The zeal and activity of friends, which saved all his valuable property, overlooked these dirty sheets. The editor soon after saw their remains. They had died a gentle death. The flame seemed just to have reached them at the time its violence was spent; for they lay, undissipated, in a drawer half open, and which was little more than singed. The characters were in part legible, being marked in a pale white, spreading over a livid ground; at once

See Preface to “ ROUSSEAU JUGE DE JEAN JAQUES.”

furnishing a proof of identity, and claiming a joint appropriation of the character which the poet had applied exclusively to man:

“ Even in our ashes live their wonted fires."

Lincoln's Inn, 15th Jan, 1783.

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