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GEORGE and Joseph RANKING, EsqRs.
My Worthy Friends,
Should the following Bagatelle be permitted to occupy a place in your Parlour Windows, it will attain a reflected respectability, similar to that which your unaffected and hearty kindnesses have conferred upon its Author.
The exemplary mode of education practised in your families, will be, to a large, yet select, circle, à most unexceptionable guarantee that nothing of immoral or invidious tendency can pervade any Work
admitted under your roof; and should the Author's name create a suspicion that you have, in the present instance, for the first time, patronized Nonsense, it will at least be anticipated as Nonsense of a very harmless description.
A Song, an Epigram, or a Distich, have frequently effected indelible impres, sions on the minds of Youth ; and should this be deemed a Book not unuseful to Children, I shall have solid reason to be satisfied.
The brief, but comprehensive, Ballad of the “ Chapter of Kings," written by Mr. Collins, gave me a wish to attempt versifying on a scale scarcely more enlarged) the leading points of our History, with an humble endeavour to vary the style, as the colour of circumstances to be depicted in each Reign might seem to require ; and, from the presumption that a Narrative alternately relieved by a Comic
Song, a Tragic Tale, or an irregular Poem, might impress on some juvenile memories a species of Index to the voluminous labours of genuine Historians.
From the regular and respectable class of Reviewers I do not feel of sufficient consequence to apprehend much ; and to those genuine literary characters who probe and prune with the benign and useful intentions which actuate a humane Surgeon, or skilful Horticulturist, I bow with unfeigned respect, and entreat the honor and favor of their friendly admonitions.
To the unsparing host, who write with the impression that positive abuse will experience a speedier sale, and cost infinitely less trouble, than discriminative candour, or who find it imperiously convenient to approve or satyrize in proportion to the interest their Bookseller may have in what they undertake to dissect,
I would spare much time and trouble by offering for their choice, with due deference and humility, a few ready-manufactured sketches of
No. 1.-"The Work before us is another lament“able instance that Book-makers ought to read a little “ before they attempt to write; had this woefully “neglected principle been attended to by the fabricator “of the subjects under present discussion, we should “have escaped the PAIN of remarking, that the “introduction of Newspapers and Hackney Coaches “at the period of the Heptarchy, and, above all, putting “a vulgar modern Ditty, intitled “Nobody coming to “marry me” into the mouth of such a Monarch as King “Henry the Eighth, (actually the first who obtained “ the glorious Title of Fidei Defensor, or, Defender of “the Faith) are evidently most ignorant and indefensible “ Anachronasms ;-we speak from genuine information “and can assure our Readers, on authorities not to be “ disputed, that Hackney Coaches were not licenced “ till the Year 1625,* nor do we despair of ascertaining "the very name of the very man who obtained the very “first Plate or Number.With respect to the Ballad of
• Vide Tablet of Memory: -Peacock's Pocket Books.--Cum multis aliis.