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The motto alludes to the Author returning to the stage repeatedly after having taken lean
IN TWO VOLUMES.
REVISED AND CORRECTED, WITH A GENERAL PREFACE, AN
HISTORICAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE, BY
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL H. PARKER, BOSTON, FOR
The Author of the Waverley Novels had hitherto proceeded in an unabated course of popularity, and might, in his peculiar district of literature, have been termed L'Enfant Gâté of success. It was plain, however, that frequent publication must finally wear out the public favour, unless some mode could be devised to give an appearance of novelty to subsequent productions. Scottish manners, Scottish dialect, and Scottish characters of note, being those with which the author was most intimately and familiarly acquainted, were the groundwork upon which he had hitherto relied for giving effect to his narrative. It was, however, obvious, that this kind of interest muśt in the end occasion a degree of sameness and repitition, if exclusively resorted to, and that the reader was likely at length to adopt the language of Edwin, in Parnell's Tale :
-" Reverse the spell,' he cries, . And let it fairly now suffice,
The gambol has been shown.'"
Nothing can be more dangerous for the fame of a professor of the fine arts, than to permit (if he can possibly prevent it) the character of a mannerist to be attached to him, or that he should be supposed capable of success only in a particular and limited style. The public are, in general, very ready to adopt the opinion, that he who has pleased them in one peculiar mode of composition, is, by means of that very talent, rendered incapable of ventur