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Preface

Sixteen of these Letters, which were written at the suggestion of the editor
of the St. James's Gazette, appeared in that journal, from which they are
now reprinted, by the editor's kind permission. They have been somewhat
emended, and a few additions have been made. The Letters to Horace, Byron,
Isaak Walton, Chapelain, Ronsard, and Theocritus have not been published
before.

The gem published for the first time on the title-page is a red cornelian in
the British Museum, probably Graeco-Roman, and treated in an archaistic style.
It represents Hermes Psychogogos, with a Soul, and has some likeness to the
Baptism of Our Lord, as usually shown in art. Perhaps it may be post-
Christian. The gem was selected by Mr. A. S. Murray.

It is, perhaps, superfluous to add that some of the Letters are written rather
to suit the Correspondent than to express the writer's own taste or opinions.
The Epistle to Lord Byron, especially, is 'writ in a manner which is my
aversion.'


Andrew Lang