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ESSAYI. ON THE PLEASURE OF PAINTING .
V. ON THE IGNORANCE OF THE LEARNED
-VII. ON A LANDSCAPE OF NIcolas Poussin
IX. Why DISTANT OBJECTS PLEASE .
XI. ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHARACTER
XIII. ON APPLICATION TO STUDY.
XIV. ON THE OLD AGE OF ARTISTS .
THE following collection of papers includes all the Essays published by Hazlitt in Paris under the title of the Table Tulk, to which the following notice was prefixed :
“ The work here offered to the public is a selection from the four volumes of Table Talk, printed in London. Should it meet with success, it will be followed by two other volumes of the same description, which will include all that the author wishes to preserve of his writings in this kind. The title may perhaps serve to explain what there is of peculiarity in the style or mode of treating the subjects. I had remarked that when I had written or thought upon a particular topic, and afterwards had occasion to speak of it with a friend, the conversation generally took a much wider range, and branched off into a number of indirect and collateral questions, which were not strictly connected with the original view of the subject, but which often threw a curious and striking light upon it, or upon human life in general. It therefore occurred to me as possible to combine the advantages of these two styles, the literary and conversational ; or after stating and enforcing some leading idea, to follow it up by such observations and reflections as would probably suggest themselves in discussing the same question in company with others. This seemed to me to promise a greater variety and richness, and perhaps a greater sincerity, than could be attained by a more precise and scholastic method. The same consideration had an influence on the familiarity and conversational idiom of the style which I have used. How far the plan was feasible, or how far
I have succeeded in the execution of it, must be left to others to decide. I am also afraid of having too frequently attempted to give a popular air and effect to subtle distinctions and trains of thought; so that I shall be considered as too metaphysical by the careless reader, while by the more severe and scrupulous in. quirer my style will be complained of as too light and desultory. To all this I can only answer that I have done not what I wished, but the best I could do ; and I heartily wish it had been better."
; A collection made in this manner for a foreign European market by the author himself, may also serve as the best introduction (the one nearest the writer's wishes were he living) of a series of his works to the American public. The second part alluded to was never published at Paris, but it is not difficult to supply it on similar principles of selection, from the various scattered writings of the author. This will be attempted in the second part of the Table Talk, to be published immediately, with no fear of the result in the production of a brilliant volume of Essays. The volumes of the Round Table, and Sketches and Essays, published by the author's son, will be left untouched for future publication in this series, which will also include the various volumes of Lectures and Critical Papers of HAZLITT.