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well for beginners; but they will never do-never. They would not pay for advertising, and without it I should not sell fifty copies.'
* This was discouraging enough. If the most experienced publishers feared to be out of pocket by the work, it was manifest d fortiri, that its writers ran a risk of being still more heavy losers, should they undertake the publication on their own account. We had no objection to raise a laugh at the expense of others; but to do it at our own cost, uncertain as we were to what extent we might be involved, had never entered into our contemplation. In this dilemma, our · Addresses,' now in every sense rejected, might probably have never seen the light, had not some good an, el whispered us to betake ourselves to Mr. John Miller, a dramatic publisher, then residing in Bow-street, Covent Garden. No soouer had this gentleman looked over our manuscript, than he immediately offered to take upon himself all the risk of publication, and to give us half the profits, sh uld there be any; a liberal proposition, with which we gladly closed. So rapid and decided was its success, at which none were more unfeignedly astonished than its authors, that Mr. Miller advised us to collect some 'Imitations of Horace,' wlich had appeared anonymously in the “Monthly Mirror.' offering to publishi them upon the same terms. We did so accord. ingly; and as new editions of the 'Rejected Addresses' were called for in quick succession, we were shortly enabled to sell our half copyright in the two works to Mr. Miller, for one thousand pounds! We have entered into this unimportant detail, not to gratify any vanity of our own, but to encourage such literary beginners as may be placed in similar circumstances; as well as to impress upon publishers the propriety of giving more consideration to the possible merit of the works submitted to them, than to the mere magic of a name."
The authors add, that not one of the poets whom they "audaciously burlesqued,” took offense at the ludicrous imitation of their style. From “ Sir Walter Scott," they observe, “We received favors and notice, both public and private, which it will be difficult to forget, because we had not the smallest claim upon his kindness. 'I certainly must have written this myselfl' said that fine tempered man to one of the authors, pointing to the description of the Fire, “although I forgot upon what occasion.' Lydia White, a literary lady, who was prone to feed the lions of the dar, invited one of us to dinner; but, recollecting afterward that William Spencer formed one of the party, wrote to the latter to put him off'; telling him that a man was to be at her table whom he would not like to meet.' 'Pray who is this whom I should not like to meet ?' inquired the poet. "O!' answered the lady, “one of those men who have made that shameful attack upon you! "The very man upon
earth I should like to know!' rejoined the lively and careless bard. The two individuals accordingly met, and have continu d fast friends ever since. Lord Byron, too, wrote thus to Mr. Murray from Italy: 'Tell him we forgive him, were he twenty times our satirist.'
" It may not be amiss to notice, in this place, one criticism of a Leicester clergyman, which may be pronounced unique: 'I do not see why they should have been rejected,' observed the matter-offact annotator; “I think some of them very good!' Upon the whole, few have been the instances, in the acrimonious history of literature, where a malicious pleasantry like the "Rejected Addresses'—which the parties ridiculed might well consider more annoying than a direct satire_instead of being met by querulous bitterness or petulant retaliation, has procured for its authors the acquaintance, or conciliated the good-will, of those whom they had the most audaciously burlesqued.”
James Smith died in London on the 29th of December, 1836, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. His brother survived him many years. Both were admired and ever-welcome members of the best society of London. See pp. 393, 396, 402, 408,
ROGERS, SAMUEL-The English poet and banker, recently de
ceased. Author of a "pretty poem,” entitled, "The Pleasures of Memory." In his old age, he was noted for the bitter wit of his conversation. See p. 566.
SAXE, JOHN G-Editor of the “Burlington Gazette," and Wan
dering Minstrel. The witty poems of Mr. Saxe are somewhat in the manner of Hood. To be fully appreciated they must be heard, as they roll in sonorous volumes, from his own lips. His collected poems were published a few years ago by Ticknor & Fields, and have already reached a ninth edition. See pp. 68, 69, 343, 519, 577, 578.
SCOTT, SIR WALTER—Born 1771; died, 1832. Sir Walter Scott,
though he excelled all his cotemporaries in the humorous delineation of character, wrote little humorous verse. The two pieces published in this volume are so excellent that one is surprised to find no more of the same description in his writings. See pp. 115, 559.
SHERIDAN, DR. THOMAS—Noted for being an intimate friend of
Dean Swift, and the grandfather of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Born in 1684; died in 1738. He was an eccentric, witty, somewhat learned, Dublin schoolmaster. He published some sermons
and a translation of Persius; acquired great celebrity as a teacher; but through the imprudence that distinguished the family, closed his life in poverty. We may infer from the few specimens of his facetious writings that have been preserved that he was one of the wittiest of a nation of wits. One or two of his epigrams are ex
quisitely fine. See pp. 212, 545. SHERIDAN, RICHARD BRINSLEY-Author of the “Rivals," and
the "School for Scandal.” Born at Dublin in 1751; died, 1816. Sheridan must have written more humorous poetry than we have been able to discover. It is probable that most of his epigrams and verified repartees have either not been preserved, or have escaped our search. Moore, in his “Life of Sheridan," gives specimens of his satirical verses, but only a few, and but one of striking excellence. See pp. 281, 559.
SMITH, HORACE–See "Rejected Addresses."
SMITI, JAMES-Sce "Rejected Addresses."
SMITIL, REV. SYDNEY-The jovial prebendary of St. Paul's, the
wittiest Englishman that ever lived; died in 1845. Except the “Recipe for Salad," and an epigram, we have found no comic verses by him. He “leaked another way." See pp. 40, 566.
SOUTHEY, ROBERT—The English poet and man of letters; born
in 1774. Southey wrote a great deal of humorous verse, much of which is ingenious and fluent. He was amazingly dexterous in the use of words, and excelled all his cotemporaries, except Byron and Barham, in the art of rhyming. See pp. 26, 28, 105, 250, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392.
SWIFT, JONATHAN—Dean of St. Patrick's Dublin. Born 1667;
died, 1739. It were superfluous to speak of the career or abilities of this great but most unhappy man, who unquestionably ranks highest amid the brilliant names of that brilliant epoch. His works speak for him, and will to all time. Of his poetical writings it may be said that though only surpassed in wit and humor by his more universally known prose, they are infinitely nastier than any thing else in the English language. They have, however, the negative virtue of being nowise licentious or demoralizing—or at least no more so than is inseparable from the choice of obscene and repulsive subjects. Nearly all his unobjectionable comic verses may be found in this volume. See pp. 204, 205, 206, 358, 359, 360, 365, 5:39, 540, 541, 542, 543, 544, 585, 586, 652, 653, 654, 655, 656, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662.
THACKERAY, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE–The greatest of living
satirists. Born at Calcutta of English parents, in 1811. Most of Mr. Thackeray's comic verses appeared originally in "Punch." They have recently been collected and published in a volume with other and more serious pieces. This collection contains nothing more mirth-provoking than the “Ballads of Pleaceman X,” by Mr. Thackeray. See pp. 54, 184, 191, 318, 319, 597, 601, 603, 606, 610, 613, 617.
WAKE, WILLIAM BASIL-An English writer, contributor to
"Hone's Every Day Book.” See p. 102.
WALLER, EDMUND–Born in Warwickshire, England, in 1608.
Poet, man of fortune, member of the Long Parliament, and traitor to the People's Cause. He was fined ten thousand pounds and banished, but Cromwell permitted his return, and the poet rewarded his clemency by a panegyric. See pp. 533, 534
WESLEY, REV. SAMUEL-A clergyman of the Church of En
gland; father of the celebrated John Wesley; author of a volume of poems, entitled “Maggots;" born in 1662 ; died in 1785. See
WILLIAMS, SIR CHARLES HANBURY-A noted wit of George
the Second's time; born in 1709; died, 1759. He was a friend of Walpole, sat in parliament for Monmouth, and rose to some distinction in the diplomatic service. An edition of his writings in three volumes was published in London in 1822. Time has robbed bis satires of their point, by burying in oblivion the circuinstances that gave rise to them. A single specimen of his writings is all that was deemed worthy of place in this volume. See p. 87.
WILLIS, N. P.-The well-known American poet and journalist.
Mr. Willis has written many humorous poems, but only a few have escaped the usual fate of newspaper verses. Born at Portland, Maine, 1807. See pp. 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66.
WOLCOTT, JOHN (Peter Pindar), the most voluminous, and one of
the best, of the humorous poets who have written in the English language. He was born in Devonshire, England, and flourished in the reign of George III., whose peculiarities it was his delight to ridicule. No king was ever so mercilessly and so successfully lampooned by a poet as Goorge III. by Peter Pindar. Wolcott was by profession a Doctor of Medicine. In 1766, we find him accom. panyin: his relative, Sir William Trelawney, to Jamaica, of which inden Sir William had be n appointed governor. While there, the rector of a valuable living died, and Dr. Wolcott conceived the idea of entering the church and applying for the vacant rectorship. To this end he began actually to perform the duties of the parish, reading prayers and preaching, and soon after returned to England to take orders, provideed with powerful recommendations. To his great disappointment, the Bishop of London refused him or lination, and the rearler of Peter Pindar will not be at a loss to guess the reason of the refusal. Wolcott now established himself in Truro, and continued in the successful practice of medicine there for several years.
At Truro, he met the youthful Opie. “It is much to his honor," says one who wrote in Wolcott's own lifetime, “that during his residence in Cornwall, he discovered, and encouraged, the fine talents of the late Opie, the artist; a man of such modesty, simplicity of manners, and ignorance of the world, that it is probable his genius would have lain obscure and uselesa, had he not met, in Dr. Wolcott, with a judicious friend, who knew how to appreciate his worth, and to recommend it to the admiration of the world. The Doctor's taste in painting has already been noticed; and it may now be added, that perhaps few men have attained more correct notions on the subject, and the fluency with which he expatiates on the beauties or defects of the productions of the ancient or modern school, has been amply acknowledged by all who have shared in his company. The same taste appears to have directed him to some of the first subjects of his satire, when he began to treat the public with the pieces which compose these volumes. The effect of these poems on the public mind will not be soon for. got. Here appeared a new poet and a new critic, a man of unquestionable taste and luxuriant faney, combined with such powers of satire, as became tremendously formidable to all who had the misfortune to fall under his displeasure. It was acknowledged at the same time, that amid some personal acrimony, and some affectionate preferences, not far removed, perhaps, from downright prejudice, he in general grounded his praise and censure upon solid principles, and carried the public mind along with him, although sometimes at the heavy expense of individuals.”
Later in life Dr. Wolcott removed to London, where he died at an advanced age. Ilis writings were, as may be supposed, eagerly read at the time of their publication, but since the poet's death, they have scarcely received the attention which their merits de. serve. The present collection contains all of his best poems which are not of a character too local and cotemporary, or too coarse in expression, to be enjoyed by the modern reader. See pp. 21, 22, 24,