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TO HIS READERS AND REVIEWERS.
By the Scotch Review, which bears the outward
semblance of Buchanan, we have been reviled as a
“Caviller” and a “Smith.” The editor might
have reflected that our names and lineaments we
inherit, whilst our words and actions are our own.
If his pages were as full of wisdom as ours are
free from cavil, the visage without his book, would
not be regarded as a mask, whose brains we vainly seek within; and the Review might yet hope to
attain a fame coextensive with our namema name
which some wise, and many worthy men, have borne--which, though not unique, is perfectly genteel -- and which has, of late years, become such a
tower of strength that, for it, a King of the French
was glad to forego his own high-sounding title.
In our little pamphlet (a letter to Lord Elles
mere), it is written—"I purposely abstain from
any attempt to compare the writings of the author
I am about to mention, with the Plays which are attributed to Shakespeare; not merely because that
but more is a labour too vast to enter upon now,
particularly because it is essentially the province
of the literary student."
We did not, and do not, pretend to be equal to
a literary labour. We merely, to úse an expression of Bacon's, "have taken upon us to ring a bell, to call other wits together, which is the meanest
office.” But as, like unready servants, they stared
at the bell instead of answering it, we are com
pelled to do our own errand, and reluctantly make some further entrance into the subject.