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OCCASIONED BY READING
THE LIFE OF MR JAMES LACKINGTON.
ADDRESSED TO THE INGENIOUS AUTHOR
BY HIS UNKNOWN FRIEND.
SINCE your pen, friend unknown, sach improvement conveys,
VERSES ADDRESSED TO THE AUTHOR. How books mend the manners; and now so abound, Where rudeness and ignorance lately were found. But plain truth, for itself, it must still be confest, Is the faithfulest advocate- therefore the best : So I rise from the feast with a satisfied mind, That the same every taste, and each temper, may find. Still to drop all comparison, mental's the fare, That needs only good taste to invite us to share ; Entertainment and knowledge, the objects in view ; Then receive, as the donor, the praise that is due.
C. H-S. Bury St Edmund's.
“ Others with wishful eyes on glory look,
When they have got their picture, toward a book,
Young's Love of Fame.
Dear FRIEND, You have often requested me to devote what few leisure moments I could spare, in minuting down some of the principal occurrences of my life, with a view, sooner or later, of exhibiting the account to the public eye; who, as you were pleased to say, could not but be somewhat curious to learn some wellauthenticated particulars of a man, well known to have risen from an obscure origin to a degree of notice, and to a participation of the favour of the public, in a particular line of business, I may without vanity say, hitherto unprecedented. This will appear more conspicuous, if you consider that I was not only poor, but laboured under every other disadvantage; being a stranger in London, and without friends, &c.
Ever willing to pay a becoming deference to the judgment of a person of your acknowledged merits, and
whom I have the felicity of numbering among my firmest friends, yet being less anxious to appear as an adventurer among the numerous tribe of authors, than to continue a considerable vender of the produce of their labours, I have continually delayed complying with your kind wishes. By the bye, does the publication of a catalogue of books entitle the compiler to the name of author ? If it does, many booksellers have long had a claim to that distinction, by the annual publication of their catalogues, and myself, as author of a very voluminous one every six months. The reason for my asking this question is, I last year observed that a certain bookseller published his first catalogue with this introduction:-“ As this is the first catalogue ever the author made, and is done in great haste, he hopes inaccuracies will be treated with lenity.”
But to return from this digression. I should pro. bably have still delayed compiling my narrative, if the editors of a certain periodical publication, who monthly labour to be witty, had not deemed me of sufficient consequence to introduce into their work what they are pleased to call a portrait of me! And though it was by them intended as a caricatura, yet I am persuaded that it will appear to those who best know me as a daubing more characteristic of the heavy brush of a manufacturer of signs, than the delicate pencil of a true portrait-painter ; and on that account I should most certainly have considered it as unworthy notice, had they not daubed me with false features. This at once determined my wavering resolution, and I am now fully resolved to minute