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A WORD or two concerning the present Edition
The firft Poem, which takes the lead on account of its length and the observations prefixed, was originally published early in the year 1790,* and confifted of 555 lines only; it was flatteringly received, the whole impreffion being speedily disposed of, and favourably mentioned in many of the most respectable English prints. From these considerations, and the united influence of his children, to whose wishes he has ever been partial, the Author employed part of the summer vacation in revising it, and making such additions as he conceived might render it something more worthy of public attention, and probably more serviceable to a class of readers, whose real interest it was chiefly intended to promote. But the task of transcribing, and superintending the press, neither his laborious profession, in which, with very little respite, he is engaged from twelve to fourteen hours a day; nor his apathy to the thing, heightened by a weakness in one of his eyes, would allow him to undertake ; that was transferred to his fon; a talk, (however diffident of his own powers and unqualified for an editor) which his filial obligations and affection to a tender and indulgent parent would not permit him to decline.
* By Mr. John Jones, Bookfeller, Grafton-freet, to whom the author made a present of it.