« ElőzőTovább »
ANIMATED by the flattering encouragement given to the First Volume of the POETICAL REGISTER, the Editor now lays before the tribunal of the Public a Second, which he flatters himself will not be found less worthy of patronage. He may, without the imputation of vanity, assert, that if a strict impartiality, and a scrupulous attention to exclude every thing injurious to morals, have any pretensions to favour, he has nothing to fear. Of himself it would not become him to say more.
On the merits of his Correspondents it is unnecessary for him to dwell. Their contributions are advocates more forcible, than any thing he could possibly urge.
Three Heads are omitted in this Volume, which were inserted in the last. They are those of Ancient Poetry, Notices of Books in the Press, and Poetical Biography. Of these the first has been left
out from want of room, and the second as being somewhat of an encroachment on the province of advertisements. The exclusion of the third article, requires a more detailed explanation. When the Editor adopted the plan, of giving biographical sketches of eminent deceased Poets, he hoped that he might be able to obtain authentic materials, for carrying his
purpose into execution. In that hope he has been disappointed. Anecdotes, and even lives, from newspapers, magazines, and other unau. - thorized, not to say polluted, sources, he might have gathered in abundance; but to use these would, according to his ideas, have been, at once, a fraud upon the Public, and an insult to the memory of the dead. The practice of publishing memoirs of eminent persons, chiefly fabricated from common report, is now too prevalent. This lying to the present age, and even to posterity, if such things can be supposed to have a chance of reaching posterity, deserves the severest reprobation. The fame of those illustrious men, who enlightened and adorned their age, ought to be held sacred. Under the impression of these feelings, the Editor has resolved to omit in the present Volume, the head of Poetical Biography. He trusts, and with confidence, that the reasons he has given, will justify the omission. Yet though this part of the Plan is, for the present, suspended, it must not be considered as wholly given up. When, ever authentic materials can be obtained, the arrear of Biography will be discharged; and thus, what is ļost in promptitude, will be more than gained in fidelity.
To the unabated kindness of those friends, whose names were specified in the Advertisement to the Volume for 1801, the Editor has to acknowledge his very great obligations. Their assistance and in. fluence has been exerted in a manner, which demands his warmest thanks. He feels pleasure also in owning, how much he is indebted to Mr. Preston and Mr. Heber. The former has been long known and admired in the literary world, and the latter has proved, by his beautiful Poem of Palestine, how strong a claim he has to be ranked among the fa. vourites of the Muse. Those friends who remain unnamed, will not, he hopes, conceive that his silence arises from his not having properly appreciated the value of their support.
Unavoidable circumstances have delayed the publication of this Volume, to a later period, than was originally intended. The future Volumes, will be regularly published, about the latter end of March, or, at the latest, in the beginning of April. Coré respondents are, therefore, requested to send their Contributions, as early as possible, addressed to the Editor, under Cover, to Messrs. Rivingtons. To prevent mistakes, they are also desired to specify, whether their pieces are intended for the Original, or Fugitive Poetry