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finds companion's where persons of different pur suits would experience the deepest solitude. “ The studies of literature," says Cicero, " afford nourishment to our youth, delight our old age, adorn prosperity, supply a refuge in adversity, are a constant source of pleasure at home, are no impediment while abroad, attend us in the season of the night, and accompany us in our travels and retirements."

It is the design of the following poem to draw no more than the general outlines of genius, to describe its progress, to ascertain the marks by which it may be known, and to give the prominent features of those writers who have excelled in its different departments. Analytical writers have divided genius into two kinds. The one belongs to the sciences; the other to the arts.

The one is employed in the discovery of truth; the other in the production of beauty. The one addresses its discoveries to the understanding; the other its productions to the taste. The one explores the labyrinths of intricacy; the other wanders through the mazes of delight. The characterise

tic of the one is penetration ; but that of the other is brightness. In the following poem no such distinction is drawn, but genius is considered under different directions, and as influenced by various causes. The author does not pretend to do justice to all those characters, who have been distinguished for their genius; he has exercised his judgment in introducing only those whom he thought would prove striking and confirming examples of the doctrines which he has advanced. The notes have been added to explain passages which may be doubtful, and to support general assertions which may require some confirmation. Prosaical illustrations, if pertinent to the subjects of the poem, it has been thought might prove pleasing and instructive to the larger class of readers.

The author shall not supplicate the candour, or indulgence of any individual, or any tribunal in favour of his poem. He is willing that it should stand or fall by its solitary merit. Whatever may be its fate, it was written with an honest intention, during those moments of leisure, in which he


could withdraw from the severer studies of his profession. If literature and morals are not benefitted by this effort; it will not be disgraceful to have failed in the design to promote them.



THE reception which this work has met, has induced the author to prepare a second edition revised, corrected, and considerably enlarged. He has not been deaf to the voice of approbation, or of censure. While the former rewarded his toil and animated his exertions, the latter has rendered him more attentive to defects, and has directed him to the well-known and golden lines of Horace.

Quintilio si quid recitares, Corrige, sodes,
Hoc, aiebat, et hoc: melius te posse negares,
Bis terque expertum frustra; delere jubebat,
It male tornatos incudi reddere versus.

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