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MY LORD, It will probably occasion you no surprise that a poet who disregards decency should subject himself to animadversion. In assuming the liberty of this address, I claim but a common and conceded privilege. “ An author's works (as you have yourself remarked *) are public property. He who purchases may judge, and publish his opinion if he pleases.” Generally speaking, indeed, we content ourselves with a silent judgment; but when the moral sense of mankind is attempted to be perverted, and their religious opinions and feelings are held up to contempt, a mere silent judgment can no longer be rested in. Our duty then runs in a higher form, and, where offence is crying, reprehension becomes virtuous.
That you have afforded but too just a field for severe discussion, even your warmest admirers
* Preface to Childe Harold.