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AND

POSTHUMOUS WRITINGS,

OF

WILLIAM COWPER, Esor.

WITH AN

INTRODUCTORY LETTER

TO THE

RIGHT HONOURABLE EARL COWPER.

BY WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esqr.

A NEW AND ENLARGED EDITION.

Observatur oculis ille vir, quo neminem ætas nostra graviorem, sanctiorem,
subtiliorem denique tulit: quem ego quum ex admiratione diligere cæpissem, quod eve-
nire contrà solet, magis admiratus sum, postquam penitus inspexi. Inspexi enim penie
tus: nihil a me ille secretum, non joculare, non serium, non triste, non lætum.

' Plinii Epist. Lib. 4, Ep 17.

VOL. I.

Chichester :

PRINTED BY J. SEAGRAVE,
FOR J. JOHNSON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD, LONDON.

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INTRODUCTORY LETTER

TO THE

RIGHT HONOURABLE .

. EARL COW PE R.

YOUR family, my Lord, our country itself, and the whole literary world, sustained such a loss in the death of that amiable man, and enchanting author, who forms the subject of these Volumes, as inspired the friends of genius and virtue with universal concern. It soon became a general wish, that some authentic, and copious, memorial of a character so highly interesting should

be produced with all becoming dispatch ; not only to render due honour to the dead, but to alleviate the regret of a nation taking a just, and liberal pride in the reputation of a poet, who had obtained, and deserved, her applause, her esteem, her affection. If this laudable wish, was very sensibly felt by the publick at large, it glowed with peculiar warmth and eagerness in the bosom of the few, who had been so fortunate as to enjoy an intimacy with Cowper in some unclouded periods of his life, and who knew from such an intimacy, that a lively sweetness, and sanctity of spirit, were as truly the characteristics of his social enjoyments, as they are allowed to constitute a principal charm in his poetical productions. It has justly been regarded as a signal blessing, to have possessed the perfect esteem, and confidence, of such a man; and not long after his decease, one of his particular friends presumed to suggest to an accomplished lady, nearly related both to him, and to your Lordship, that she her. self might be the biographer the most worthy of the poet. The long intimacy, and corres. pondence, which she enjoyed with him, from their lively hours of infantine friendship, to the dark evening of his wonderfully chequered life; her cultivated and affectionate mind, which led her to take peculiar delight and interest in the merit and reputation of his writings, and lastly, that generous attachment to her afflicted relation, which induced her to watch over his disordered health, in a period of its most calamitous depression, these circumstances united, seemed to render it desirable that she should assume the office of Cowper's biographer, having such advantages for the perfect execution of that very delicate office, as perhaps no other memorialist could possess in an equal degree. For the intereșt of literature, and for the honour

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