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J. KOGG, PRINTER, EDINBURGH.
General Library System
E IGA 2
The Author, in again appearing before the public, cannot do so without acknowledging the kindness with which his former work was received, both in this and in other lands. It has made him a vast multitude of friends among those whose faces he never hopes to see “ in the flesh.” He thanks also the Press for the very general indulgence with which it treated the first production of one then unknown. In the succeeding sketches he has aimed at a tone somewhat more subdued, and a style of criticism more discriminating than in the former. This is not so much a gallery of “heroes” as of notable individuals whom he is sometimes obliged rather sternly to analyse. There is “ a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” -a" time to pull down, as well as a time to build up.” Notwithstanding what the cold, the stupid, or the fastidious may say of the acknowledgment, he confesses to a much deeper satisfaction in the practice of praise than of blame, although in both he is sincere. He may add, that he has given “second sittings” in this series, more lengthy than formerly, to several individuals who were somewhat cursorily treated in his first “ Gallery."
He might well have husbanded his enthusiasm, having committed himself to one of the greatest of critical tasks, a review of the “ Bards of the Bible,” subject, to use the language of Dr Croly,“ where you cannot think too profoundly, or eulogise too warmly.” This task, he may announce, is more than two-thirds achieved, and, if God spare him, he hopes to issue the entire work in spring.
In answer to many inquiries, the author may also intimate his intention of issuing soon a revised edition of his first “ Gallery,” the other having been long out of print.
Dundee, Ist December, 1849.