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cknowblind: Laing, -hich I
to be ear in ly so
ters of individuals still living; but, aware of the delicate ground he was here treading, the Editor trusts he has not given place to a single document that could cause the slightest feeling of vexation to the writer. In one instance only he saw room for hesitation,-in the case of Mr. Godwin's ;--and, this gentleman having most kindly permitted the publication of his letter, all objection was removed.
The Editor has reason to regret that Mr. Pinkerton was very little in the habit of preserving copies of his own letters, and that he has himself not been so fortunate as to succeed in obtaining the loan of any from Mr. Pinkerton's numerous correspondents, excepting those addressed to Lord Buchan and Mr. Malcolm Laing, and a very few of those to Mr. Walker. For the last of these he has to express his obligations to Sir William Betham, and for the others to Thomas Thomson, Esq., of Edinburgh.
In conclusion, looking to the names and characters of those by whom the greater part of the letters in these volumes are written, he flatters himself that the public will derive, from the perusal of this Correspondence, a portion of the gratification which it has afforded to himself; and he begs to be excused for indulging in the following quotation from the diary of Edmund Calamy :*
" From my
* Historical Account of his own Life, Vol. 1. p. 1,
younger years, and ever since I have had a capacity of making remarks, or of passing judgment on persons or things, I have taken a particular pleasure in reading the published epistles and lives of such as came into the world either before or since my own appearing in it; and I have, in both of them, observed many things, and some of them curious and instructive, that do not occur elsewhere.
“As to epistles, I have found that many of them discover secrets, and contain facts and passages, that would, in all likelihood, have been buried in oblivion, if not this way preserved. The writers of them very often draw their own native characters, without at all designing it, and generally touch, and sometimes dilate upon, a variety of things out of the common road.”
Declining to publish his ballads.-Feb. 14, 1778.
DR. PERCY, BISHOP OF DROMORE, TO MR. PINKERTON. 5
Account of bis Dissertations in the press, and his honorable
mention of Mr. Pinkerton in them.-Feb. 7, 1782.
Criticism and eulogiums on his Tales, and on Hardyknute, and
Expressive of his gratification at Mr. Pinkerton's commenda-
Terms and agreement for printing his Tragic and Comic Bal-
lads.-Dec. 9, 1782.
Enclosing King James's poem of Peblis to the Play for his pub-
Wishing to revise his notes on Scottish Poems, before their pub-
lication by Mr. Pinkerton : on the Scottish Songs in Queen
Thanks for his letter, and for his Tragic Ballads.-Feb. 3, 1783.
Thanks for bis Scotch ballads.-Nov. 24, 1783.
Thanking him for his poems, and inviting him to Strawberry
A second refusal of permission for the removal of books from
the Pepysian Library, and a statement of his reasons for the
Criticism on his Comedy.-Sept. 27, 1784.
Further criticism on his Comedy ; remarks on English poetry,
on poetry in general, and on the drama.-Oct. 6, 1784.
DR. PERCY TO MR. PINKERTON.
mentioning Mr. Nichols's Sapplement to Swift's works.-
Enclosing bis Sonnet to Dr. Heberden.-- April 1, 1785.