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PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
deliver a lecture at the Royal Academy, and Burke and Sheridan's speeches on the trial of Warren Hastings; sent his poems to Mason ; knew people who had been familiar with Pope and Gray; had dined at La Fayette's with Rochefoucauld and Condorcet; been introduced to Robertson, Adam Smith, old Henry Mackenzie; saw Lord North in the House; was, he says, within thirty miles of Dumfries when Burns was living there; was acquainted with Porson, Dr. Parr, Helen Maria Williams, Kosciusko, Madame de Genlis, Lord Erskine, Lord Monboddo, Fox, to whom he introduced Wordsworth, Pitt, Windham, Madame d’Arblay, Wilkes, Horne Tooke, &c.; and saw the body of John Wesley laid in full canonicals on a table in his chapel, in the City Road: and yet was but the other day, as it were, living in the midst of this generation, as if he belonged to it. The removal of this one man seems to have pushed the people of his early days now far from us. No such change can occur again in our time, rapid and strange as are the shifting scenes of human life. May the few living men of genius who are yet included in this volume long remain amongst us, land-marks of the past, watching the dawning glories of the future!
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The subject of the present work is very extensive, and it was soon found necessary to leave out the Dramatic Poets for separate treatment. To them may possibly be added such other of our eminent poets as could not be included in the present work. It will be recollected that it is professedly on the Homes and Haunts of the Poets, and is not strictly biographical. For this reason there are some poets of considerable eminence, who will find comparatively small mention; and others none, not because they are not entitled to much notice, but because there is little or nothing of deep interest or novelty connected with their homes and abodes.
Since the publication of the former edition of this work, many fresh incidents in the lives of the poets included in it have taken place, and a considerable number of those then living are now deceased. In order to notice accurately these changes, the whole work has been carefully revised.