Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

'W A L P O L I A N A.

[blocks in formation]

PREFACE.

This little lounging miscellany aspires to the singular praise of being beneath all criticisin :

For who would break a fly upon the u beel?

It is, in most instances, a mere transcript of literary chit-chat, sent to the press in the ori. ginal careless and unstudied expresion. How race Walpole was not one of those who regard conversation as an exercise of gladiatorial talents, or who study moral maxims, and arrange bons-mots, to be introduced into future colloquies. - Complete ease and carelessness, he regarded as the chief charms of conversation. To have employed therefore a more elevated B 2

Ayle, style, or more formal arrangement, in these trifling pages, would have been so far from an improvement, that it would have destroyed their genuine effect. Buffon has remarked, that a man's clothes are a part of the individual animal, and pass into the idea of the character. As this work walks forth in deshabille, it will afford a more faithful refemblance, than if it were pranked in velvet and

If criticism can be applied to such a produčtion as the present, it must proceed upon a just idea of its feeble nature, and hesitating pretensions. It cannot be estimated as a literary production :

gold lace.

Nos hæc novimus elle nihil.

It must be weighed solely as a transcript of conversation, which may be both amusing and instructive, and yet never aspire to the rejearch, selection, and arrangement, necessary for the public ear.

This apology may be requisite for the editor's disregard of any plan, or connexion of parts, in the present miscellany, which contains anecdotes, remarks, letters, &c. &*c. just as they were registered, or happened to start from memory, or from the drawer. It would have been a matter of Night toil to have arranged the whole under distinct heads,

bad

« PreviousContinue »