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Aurl asking of the Surge that bathes thy foot te it has washed our distant shore
WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ.
MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR.
444, WEST STRAND.
may 3. 192
“ miesto Imma 4 Elizabeth Harris
The lives of men devoted to the quiet pursuits of literature rarely afford much scope for the biographer ; yet such is the respect paid to genius, that transactions, most unimportant in themselves, are often made to assume a degree of consequence when so allied, and the minutest particulars are recorded with an avidity which would be perfectly ridiculous but for such association. Too much of this has been interwoven in the various Memoirs of William Cowper, and, with it, by far too much of the poet's predisposition to despondency. It is not, however, our intention to render this record of his life the vehicle for doleful lamentation-for we are far from believing that the “ gifted sons of genius” are doomed to suffer miseries unknown to other men; still less would we encourage that morbid sensibility which preys on the vitals of many worthy, though self-deluded characters, who, fancying themselves to be preeminently endowed, affect to despise the plain dictates of common sense, and have for their reward the bitter fruits of talents misdirected, and of prudence disregarded. That our Author's life was overclouded with mental afflictions, the sequel will too truly prove; but the all-prevailing practice of over-colouring the evils of life, and of describing them in the language of appeal. ing sympathy, is an evil of no common magnitude, and ought to be discountenanced.