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EPISTLE DEDICATORY.

TO MISS FANNY KEMBLE.

FAIREST LADY, INIMITABLE ACTRESS, SWEETEST POETESS!

It does not signify: we cannot help it. To you, pout or laugh as you will, these pages must be, and are hereby most respectfully dedicated. You may call it presumption, or even impertinence, without your permission, to venture on such a liberty. We confess it, and yet we are under the necessity of informing you, that you have only yourself to blame for it.

In the first place, you must needs come to this western hemisphere. You, and not we, are responsible for the consequences of that. In the next place, you did, with malice prepenseit can be proved on youset about turning people's heads—for which VOL. I.

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you can have no excuse. And thirdly, and lastly, as if you were determined to leave no kind of mischief “ unattempted in prose or rhyme,” not satisfied with having given us the lofty verse in your Francis the First, and received our best applause, you must still, wherever you are, keep writing and publishing your charming rhymes, to attract our admiration.

If, therefore, in seizing this occasion to express a little of it, we should happen to give offence, we say it again, boldly and impudently—“ The first offence is yours!" Lay aside that strange fascination of your bright eye! Throw away that magic wand by which you conjure up your potent spells— leave off writing and publishing your "sweet and gentle minstrelsy," or else forgive the crime you instigate us to commit. If you will persist in provoking our admiration in so many ways, you must even submit to the fate you so rich

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ly deserve. You have no right to complain, though the phrase may seem uncourteous, if under such circumstances, an author, along with the rest of the world, ventures to lay his humble offering at the feet of beauty-to render his slight homage to the chosen favourite of the tragic muse-to pay the poor

tribute of his praise to her,

“ Who, while she plucks the poet's bay,

In tarn inspires the poet's lay." Nor is this all the claim to your indulgence that we could put forth. We do not wish to relate the particulars of our flat refusal to dedicate this work to either of the great men at the head of the opposite parties in this country, although we had good reason to think that general Jackson, and Mr. Clay, and, we might add, Mr. Calhoun, if we chose, would have been highly gratified to see their names at the head of an “Epistle Dedicatory.” We do not mean to charge positively upon either of those distinguished personages that they instigated, or were privy to the attempts that were made upon us by their respective friends for that purpose. But we do charge, and challenge either of them to deny it if they can or dare, that they did not, in the slightest degree, discountenance those attempts. However, they must very soon have discovered that they stood no chance whatever of success. Our prompt and final answer to the importunate friends of the gallant general was-“ If we dedicate to any body, we shall dedicate to Miss Fanny Kemble. We have every respect for the Hero of New Orleans, but 'cedant arma togæ,' — The warrior's arms must give way to the lady's gown.” And to the friends of the orator and statesman of the west, our reply was equally firm and decisive. We admire his eloquence—we admit his profound statesmanship, but “ laurea concedat palmæ.”—“ The laurel on the statesman's brow must yield to the palm

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