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In dismissing the “ LITERARY Souvenir" from my hands for the eighth time, I beg leave to say, that I have spared no pains to render it in every respect worthy of its predecessors, and of the favour with which they have uniformly been received.
In deprecating the flippant tone in which works of this class are usually reviewed by a certain portion of the periodical press, I have been understood to exhibit an impatience of criticism myself. This was very far from my intention. My remarks were meant to apply in a greater degree to other volumes of the kind than to my own; for I have but small ground of complaint on this head. I am, however, abundantly convinced of my folly, by the reproof of one of the very persons for whose sakes I incurred so much critical displeasure.
Annual publications are, I suspect, pretty much in the situation of literary ladies, who are often denounced by critics of the ruder sex for the monotony of their materials, and the feebleness of their style; yet the moment they venture upon higher ground, are still more harshly repulsed, for selecting subjects inconsistent with the feminine character. By those who consider it a solecism in taste to publish any thing in an Annual, save mawkish love stories and maudlin rhymes, the introduction into such a work, of a satirical squib, will probably be construed into a “high crime and misdemeanour;" nevertheless, if the general reader be amused and the culprit amended, the leading aim of the author will have been achieved. The only persons who are likely to take offence at my strictures, are those who, from the indifference they are accustomed to exhibit to the feelings of others, will have but little right to complain.
As one of the charges brought against me last year, was that of a desire to monopolise the property of Annual publications, and one journalist even went so far as to give a formidable list of the volumes which had engaged my attention to the detriment of the “ LITERARY SOUVENIR;" I think it as well to mention, that with the exception of the “New Year's Gift,” I neither had, nor have an interest, either direct or indirect, in any similar work ;-an announcement rendered the more necessary by the fact, that my Publishers have become extensive circulators of books of this description.
October 1, 1831.
*** It is particnlarly requested that copies be retained of all short Communications, whether in prose or verse, which may be transmitted, without solicitation, for the “ Literary Souvenir;" as the Editor cannot undertake to return them.
*** Mr. Patmore is not the author of the catchpenny novel ascribed to him in a note to “ The Conversazione.” He is guilty only of having extravagantly praised it.
Page 236, line 1, for train, read “twain."