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Winthrop Mackworth PRAED, we believe, was a native of London, where members of his family now reside, occupied with the business of banking. The author of “Lillian " was placed, when very young, at Eton, where John Moultrie, Henry Nelson Coleridge, and other clever men of kindred tastes, were his associates. He was principal editor of “The Etonian,” one of the most spirited and piquant under-graduate magazines ever sent from a college. From Eton, he went to Cambridge, where he carried away an unprecedented number of prizes, obtained by Greek and Latin odes and epigrams, and English poems. On leaving Trinity College, he settled in London, and soon after became associated with Thomas Babbington Macaulay, and other young men, who have since been distinguished at the bar or in the senate, in the conduct of “Knight's Quarterly Magazine.” After the discontinuance of the Miscellany, he occasionally wrote for the “New Monthly,” and for the annuals ; and a friend of his informs us that a large number of his playful lyrics, thrown off with infinite ease and readiness, are yet unprinted in the possession of his numerous friends. No collection of his effusions has ever been published before the present edition.
For a few years before his death, Mr. Praed was in Parliament, where he was considered a rising member, though his love of ease, and social propensities, prevented the proper cultivation and devotion of his powers. He died on the 15th of July, 1839.
“Lillian,” with the exception of Drake's “ Culprit Fay,” is the most purely imaginative poem with which we are acquainted. Praed delighted in themes of this sort, and “ The Red Fisherman,” the “ Bridal of Belmont,” and some of his other pieces, show the exceeding cleverness with which he reared upon them his fanciful and beautiful creations. “The Belle of the Ball,” “ The Vicar,” “Palinodia,” and a few more of the lively and graceful compositions in this volume have been widely known in this country through our periodicals, and we hope they will be no less welcome now that they are sent out in a body, with their fellows, to enliven all who may greet them, with their gaiety and quiet humour.
Philadelphia, April, 1844.