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me in a point of this delicate nature. Under this impression, I placed them in the hands of some friends highly distinguished for talents and judgement.

Sanctioned by such authority, I shall feel most happy in having it in my power to gratify the admirers of Cowper with these his early productions, trusting they will afford as much delight to their readers, as they have to Your obedient servant,

J. C.

4. The satire on his cousin Martin Madan, which was the first thing Cowper published in a separate, form, came to my knowledge by mere accident, before those letters in which it is mentioned were entrusted to me. In a volume of Kippis's Biographia Britannica which I had sent for from a London catalogue, and which had been a presentation copy to its first possessor, I found—the reader may imagine with what surprise as well as pleasure—the following note, left in it by him as a marker.



I find the Poem of Mr. Cowper's, to which I alluded this morning, is entitled Anti-Thelyphthora, was printed in quarto by Johnson, in 1781, and is noticed in the sixty-fourth volume of the Monthly
Review, p

Mr. Hayley will be much obliged by the loan of
Webb’s Art of Poetry.

I am, dear Sir,
Very faithfully yours,

Chancery Lane, Tuesday.

Immediate enquiry was of course made; the poem
was found in the British Museum, and a transcript
taken from it for the press. I was enabled to correct
this in the proofs by a copy of the original quarto
pamphlet, for which I am obliged to Mr. Peace, of
the Bristol Library, the (then unknown) friend to
whom (in the first volume of this edition) I acknow-
ledged my obligations for an Index to the Task, and
for the collection of parallel passages with which his
well-stored memory supplied him. It will be seen by
them how thoroughly Cowper's mind was imbued with

Concerning the Anti-Thelyphthora, it suffices here
to state, that the papers in the Monthly Review
which so effectually demolished Martin Madan's

ments were written by Badcock; and that Cowper
wished the authorship of the satire might remain
secret, because of his relationship to the person against


S. C.-8.

whom it was aimed. What more I have to say of that remarkable person must be reserved for another place.

5. I have now only to give the original title of the first volume, and Mr. Newton's Preface, which having been printed with it, was withdrawn at the publisher's request, but restored at the writer's, eight years afterwards.





Sicut aquæ tremulum labris ubi lumen ahenis
Sole repercussum, aut radiantis imagine lunæ,
Omnia pervolitat laté loca, jamque sub auras
Erigitur, summique ferit laquearia tecti.

So water trembling in a polish'd vase,
Reflects the beam that plays upon its face;
The sportive light, uncertain where it falls,

Now strikes the roof, now flashes on the walls.
Nous sommes nés pour la vérité, et nous ne pouvons souffrir son

abord; les figures, les paraboles, les emblémes, sont toujours des ornements nécessaires pour qu'elle puisse s'annoncer; et, soit qu'on craigne qu'elle ne découvre trop brusquement le défaut qu'on voudroit cacher, ou qu'enfin elle n'instruise avec trop peu de ménagement, on veut, en la recevant, qu'elle soit déguisée.





When an author by appearing in print, requests an audience of the public, and is upon the point of speaking for himself, whoever presumes to step before him with a Preface, and to say, “ Nay, but hear me first,” should have something worthy of attention to offer, or he will be justly deemed officious and impertinent. The judicious reader has probably, upon other occasions, been beforehand with me in this reflection : and I am not very willing it should now be applied to me, however I may seem to expose myself to the danger of it. But the thought of having my own name perpetuated in connexion with the name in the title page, is so pleasing and flattering to the feelings of my heart, that I am content to risk something for the gratification.

This Preface is not designed to commend the Poems, to which it is prefixed. My testimony would be insufficient for those who are not qualified to judge properly for themselves, and unnecessary to those who are. Besides, the reasons which render it improper and unseemly for a man to celebrate his own performances, or those of his nearest relatives, will have some influence in suppressing much of what he might otherwise wish to say in favour of a friend, when that friend is indeed an alter idem, and excites almost the same emotions of sensibility and affection, as he feels for himself.

It is very probable these Poems may come into the hands of some persons, in whom the sight of the Author's name will awaken a recollection of incidents and scenes, which through length of time they had almost forgotten. They will be reminded of one, who was once the companion of their chosen hours, and who set out with them in early life in the paths which lead to literary honours to influence and affluence, with equal prospects of success. But he was suddenly and powerfully withdrawn from those pursuits, and he left them without regret; yet not till he had sufficient opportunity of counting the cost, and of knowing the value of what he gave up. If happiness could have been found in classical attainments, in an elegant taste, in the exertions of wit, fancy, and genius, and in the esteem and converse of such persons, as in these respects were most congenial with himself, he would have been happy. But he was not. He wondered (as thousands in a similar situation still do) that he should continue dissatisfied, with all the means apparently conducive to satisfaction within his reach.But in due time the cause of his disappointment was

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