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PREFACE.

THE following Poems were written at different periods, and without any view to publication : they swelled, however, almost imperceptibly, into a volume, and I found myself tempted to collect them, and endeavour to give my“ airy nothings,"

“ A local habitation and a name."

For I (perhaps foolishly) indulged the hope that there might, at least, be one in the collection which would prove, as it were, a corkjacket to the rest, and keep them, for a passing season, afloat on the stream of Literature.

If I have been too sanguine, I trust my

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judges will take into consideration that it is a first offence, and recommend me to mercy accordingly.

Unam hanc noxam remittere non est difficile.

I have omitted, among the “ Portraits," some performers who well deserve mention : for, to say the truth, I doubted whether I should be able to infuse any thing like variety into my descriptions, after having written on so many similar subjects.

I have been silent, in regard to them, not from an unconsciousness of their merits, but from a sense of my own inefficiency to do them justice.

H. S. V. D.

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