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of those literary projects on which I had a rich London merchant,—had been brought,
had not counted on my bank “ in nubibus" too
well have been applied the words of Ovid, much in darkness on the subject,--that, after
--acceptissima semper a long and frequently interrupted course of
Munera sunt, auctor que pretiosa facit. negotiation, the amount of the claims of the In this volume, and its immediate successor, American merchants had been reduced to the will be found collected almost all those delinsum of one thousand guineas, and that towards quencies of mine, in the way of satire, which the payment of this the uncle of my deputy - have appeared, from time to time, in the pub
lic journals, during the last twenty or thirty to this series of squibs, may have been collected years. The comments and notices required to from the concluding sentences of my last Prethrow light on these political trifles must be face ; but a little further consideration has led reserved for our next volume.
me to abandon this intention.
To that kind of satire which deals only with the lighter follies of social life, with the passing
modes, whims, and scandal of the day, such PREFACE
illustrative comments become, after a short time, necessary. But the true preserving salt
of political satire is its applicabflity to future THE NINTH VOLUME.
times and generations, as well as to those
which had first called it forth ; its power of In one of those Notices, no less friendly transmitting the scourge of ridie ile through than they are able and spirited, which this new succeeding periods, with a lash still fresh for Edition of my Poetical Works has called forth the back of the bigot and the oppressor, under from a leading political journal, I find, in whatever new shape they may present themreference to the numerous satirical pieces con- selves. I can hardly flatter myself with the tained in these volumes, the following sug- persuasion that any one of the satirical pieces gestion :*_“It is now more than a quarter contained in this Volume is likely to possess this of a century since this bundle of political pas- principle of vitality; but I feel quite certain that, quinades set the British public in a roar; and without it, not all the notes and illustrations in though the events to which they allude may which even the industry of Dutch commentatorbe well known to every reader,
ship could embalm them would ensure to these "Cujus octavum trepidavit ætas
trifes a lise much beyond the present hour. Ciaudere lustrum,"
Already, to many of them, that sort of relish there are many persons, now forming a part of -by far the least worthy source of their sucthe literary public, who have come into ex- cess—which the names of living victims lend istence since they happened, and who cannot to such sallies, has become, in the course of be expected, even if they had the leisure and time, wanting. But, as far as their appositeopportunity, to rummage the files of our old ness to the passing political events of the day newspapers for a history of the perishable facts has yet been tried—and the dates of these saon which Mr. Moore has so often rested the tires range over a period of nearly thirty years flying artillery of his wit. Many of those facts —their ridicule, thanks to the undying nature will be considered beneath the notice of the of human absurdity, appears to have lost, as grave historian ; and it is, therefore, incumbent yet, but little of the original freshness of its on Mr. Moore-if he wishes his political squibs, first application. Nor is this owing to any imbued as they are with a wit and humor peculiar felicity of aim in the satire itself, but quite Aristophanic, to be relished, as they to the sameness, throughout that period, of all deserve to be relished, by our great-grand- its original objects ;-the unchangeable nature children-to preface them with a rapid sum of that spirit of Monopoly by which, under all mary of the events which gave them birth.” its various impersonations, commercial, reli
Without pausing here to say how gratifying gious, and political, these satires had been first it is to me to find my long course of Anti- provoked. To refer but to one instance, the Tory warfare thus tolerantly, and even gen- Corn Question,-assuredly, the entire appositeerously spoken of, and by so distinguished an ness, at this very moment, of such versicles as organ of public opinion, I shall, as briefly as I the following, redounds far less to the credit of can, advert to the writer's friendly suggestion, poesy than to the disgrace of legislation and then mention some of those reasons which
How can you, my Lord, thus delight to torment all have induced me to adopt it. That I was dis The Peers of the realin about cheap'ning the corn, posed, at first, to annex some such commentary When you know if one hasn't a very high rental,
"Tis hardly worth while to be very high-born. The Tizes Jan. 9, 1841.
That, being by nature so little prone to spleen
or bitterness, I should yet have frequented so tioning some particulars respecting an early
himself, with all his usual cheerful eagerness,
occasionally consulted both Mr. Rogers and
myself as to different readings of some of the Which ), like summer-Bjes, shake off' again," lines. In one of the letters which I received without venturing to add that I have now to from him while thus occupied, I find the followconnect with them one mournful recollection-ing postscript :one loss from among the circle of those I have ««'Tis thus I turn th' Italian's song, longest looked up to with affection and admira
Nor deem I read his meaning wrong. tion—which I little thought, when I began this
But with rough English to combine
The sweetness that's in every line, series of prefatory sketches, I should have to
Asks for your Muse, and not for mine. mourn before their close. I need hardly add,
Sense only will not quit the score; that, in thus alluding to a great light of the so
We must have that, and little More." cial and political world recently gone out, I
He then adds, “I send you, too, a melanmean the late Lord Holland.
choly Epigram of mine, of which I have seen It may be recollected, perhaps, that, in men many, alas, witness the truth :
This swarm of themes that settled on my pen,
* In his Convilo he praises very warmly some persons to be published, which Lord Holland left behind him, cin. whom he had before abused.-See Foscolo, Discorso sul taining Memoirs of his own times and of those immediately
preceding them. * This will be seen whenever those valuable papers come In sixteen volumes, published at Paris, by Desoer,
Testa di Dante.
"A minister's answer is always so kind !
about thirteen or fourteen lines of it. The I starve, and he tells me he'll keep me in mind. Half his promise, God knows, would my spirits restore: story to be told in letters from a young EpicuLet him keep me-and, faith, I will ask for no more.” rean philosopher, who, in the second century
of the Christian era, goes to Egypt for the The only portion of the mass of trifles con purpose of discovering the elixir of immortaltained in this volume, that first found its way ity, which is supposed to be one of the secrets to the public eye through any more responsible of the Egyptian priests. During a Festival on channel than a newspaper, was the Letters of the Nile, he meets with a beautiful maiden, the Fudge Family in England,
,-a work which the daughter of one of the priests lately dead. was sure, from its very nature, to encounter | She enters the catacombs, and disappears. He the double risk of being thought dull as a mere hovers around the spot, and at last finds the sequel, and light and unsafe as touching on well and secret passages, &c., by which those follies connected with the name of Religion. who are initiated enter. He sees this maiden Into the question of the comparative dulness in one of those theatrical spectacles which of any of my productions, it is not for me, of formed a part of the subterranean Elysium of course, to enter; but to the charge of treating the Pyramids—finds opportunities of converreligious subjects irreverently, I shall content sing with her—their intercourse in this mystemyself with replying in the words of Pascal, rious region described. They are discovered; “ Il a bien de la différence entre rire de la re- and he is thrown into those subterranean prisligion et rire de ceux qui la profanent par leurs ons, where they who violate the rules of Iniopinions extravagantes."
tiation are confined. He is liberated from thence by the young maiden, and taking flight together, they reach some beautiful region, where they linger, for a time, delighted, and
she is near becoming a victim to his arts. But PREFACE
taking alarm, she flies; and seeks refuge with
a Christian monk, in the Thebaid, to whom her THE TENTH VOLUME.
mother, who was secretly a Christian, had con
signed her in dying. The struggles of her The Story which occupies this volume was love with her religion. A persecution of the intended originally to be told in verse; and a Christians takes place, and she is seized (chiefly great portion of it was at first written in that through the unintentional means of her lover) form. This fact, as well as the character, per- and suffers martyrdom. The scene of her marhaps, of the whole work, which a good deal tyrdom described, in a letter from the Solitary partakes of the cast and coloring of poetry, of the Thebaid, and the attempt made by the have been thought sufficient to entitle it to a young philosopher to rescue her. He is carried place in this general collection of my poetical off from thence to the cell of the Solitary. writings.
His letters from that retreat, after he has beHow little akin to romance or poesy were come a Christian, devoting his thoughts ensome of the circumstances under which this tirely to repentance and the recollection of work was first projected by me, the reader may the beloved saint who had gone before him.have seen from a preceding preface ;* and the If I don't make something out of all this, the following rough outline, which I have found deuce is in't.” among my papers, dated Paris, July 25, 1820, According to this plan, the events of the will show both my first general conception, or story were to be told in Letters, or Epistolary foreshadowing of the story, and likewise the Poems, addressed by the philosopher to a extent to which I thought right, in afterwards young Athenian friend; but, for greater vaworking out this design, to reject or modify riety, as well as convenience, I afterwards dissome of its details.
tributed the task of narration among the chief “Began my Egyptian Poem, and wrote personages of the Tale. The great difficulty,
however, of managing, in rhyme, the minor * Preface to the Eighth Volume, p. 40 of this edition. details of a story, so as to be clear without
growing prosaic, and still more, the diffuse rangement; but, on further consideration, length to which I saw narration in verse would there arose some difficulty in the way of our extend, deterred me from following this plan treaty—the work itself being found insufficient gay further; and I then commenced the tale to form a volume of such dimensions as would anew in its present shape.
yield any hope of defraying the cost of the Of the Poems written for my first experi- numerous illustrations then intended for it. ment, a few specimens, the best I could select, Some modification, therefore, of our terms was were introduced into the prose story; but the thought necessary; and then first was the remainder I had thrown aside, and nearly for- notion suggested to me of bringing forth from gotten even their existence, when a circum- among my papers the original sketch, or openstance somewhat characteristic, perhaps, of ing of the story, and adding these fragments, that trading spirit which has now converted as a sort of make-weight, in the mutual adjustParnassus itself into a market, again called my ment of our terms. attention to them. The late Mr. Macrone, to That I had myself regarded the first experiwhose general talents and enterprise in businessment as a failure, was sufficiently shown by all who knew him will bear ready testimony, my relinquishment of it. But, as the published had long been anxious that I should undertake work had then passed through several editions, for himn some new Poem or Story, affording and had been translated into most of the lansuch subjects for illustration as might call into guages of Europe, it was thought that an inplay the fanciful pencil of Mr. Turner. Other sight into the anxious process by which such tasks and ties, however, had rendered my com success had been attained, might, as an encourpliance with this wish impracticable; and he agement, at least, to the humble merit of was about to give op all thoughts of attaining painstaking, be deemed of some little use. his object, when on learning from me acciden The following are the translations of this tally that the Epicurean was still my own prop- ( Tale which have reached me : viz. two in erty, he proposed to purchase of me the use French; two in Italian, (Milan, 1836–Venice, of the copyright for a single illustrated edition. 1835 ;) one in German, (Inspruc, 1828 ;) and
The terms proffered by him being most one in Dutch, by M. Herman van Logheni, liberal, I readily acceded to the proposed ar- | (Deventer, 1829.)