« السابقةمتابعة »
MY DEAR SIR,
submitting the following pages to your inspection, though perhaps little calculated for your entertainment, and certainly never intended for your perusal, I shall offer but little preface, and less apology. The subject of them is not so intricate or obscure as to require the one, and you will, I hope, excuse me if I say, I do not conceive you have any right to demand the other.
One of three motives is usually assigned,
or implied, for committing the lucubrations of an author to the press; the desire of fame-the hope of profit-or, lastly, and perhaps most frequently pleaded, the advice and importunity of friends. Tuwdi GEXulov is a precept not less easy in theory than difficult in execution; but if I do know myself—if I am at all conscious of the real nature of the incitement which urges me to lay these sheets before you, it does not arise from either of the abovementioned stimulants.
A thirst after fame can hardly be supposed to influence one who, cautiously concealing his patronymic appellation, means to tell you no more of himself, than that he was fortunate enough to receive from his gossips at the font the sponsorial and sonorous designation of George Hector Epaminondas; and that, through the
courtesy of the world, he is habituated to affix the magical characters E, S, Q, to his name; a piece of information extorted solely by the dread of being confounded with the herd of plebeian scribblers, whose (of course) miserable productions it would be very mauvais ton for any lady or gentleman of sentiment and fashion in these days to cast a second glance on, while the fascinating duodecimos of such elegant yotaries of Phoebus, as captain A-, or my lord B-, sir J-Cor lady M-, are courting their regards, and contending for their attention.
Still less is the expectation of profit my inducement; an advantage in itself uncertain, and which, should any accrue, is already mentally dedicated to the furtherance of a purpose from which I shall receive no personal benefit. At this asserB 2
tion, methinks, sir, I see you shake your head and smile. Be it so; it is neverthe
less the fact.
Least of all, am I actuated by the wishes or interference of my friends; not even to you, sir, whatever may have been the favours I have received, or the obligations I have incurred (and they have both been numerous), not even to you, sir, have I ventured to communicate my intention, or confide its result; it is unnecessary, therefore, to state that any censure or disgrace this rash attempt at authorship may draw down on my unfortunate head, is not to be attributed to the indiscreet zeal and blind partiality of my friends.
Having thus unequivocally told you what are not my motives, you may think it right, perhaps, that I should be equally explicit in declaring what they are.