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The author of the following pages is not, perhaps, the first who has been dragged before the public against his own will. It is often the misfortune of those least desirous of being known beyond the circle of their immediate associates, to find some kind friends ready to kick them into notoriety, without duly considering the consequences of an act, which, while it affects themselves but remotely, not unfrequently does an irreparable injury to the unfortunate objects of their solicitude. Whether such a fate awaits the author, in the present instance, remains to be seen.
Several weeks ago it was announced by the publishers, Messrs. Canfield, & Co., that a volume of my poetical effusions, scattered through the columns of the periodical press, would be collected and given to the public in the course of the present year. To this I could only offer a respectful remonstrance, since such of my productions as had been printed, became, by that act, public property, and were at the service of any who might be unwise enough to hazard their re-publication in a form more permanent and expensive. The die, however, was cast; the publishers were not to be driven from their determination, and it became necessary on my part, that the whole selection, originally hastily written, should be reexamined and corrected before again claiming a portion of public attention. In the execution of this task, if occasionally I have found something to approve, I have certainly found much to condemn; and instead of always seeking to amend, I have not unfrequently indulged in the bolder process of free expunction. This course necessarily abridged not a little the mass of selected matter; but to compensate for this, several new articles have been written, which now appear, for the first time, in the following pages.
The author does not pretend indifference as to the fate of these poetical efforts; such a pretension would be wholly at variance with truth. Their faults, if glaring, may render censure dumb; their beauties, if any they have, an enlightened public will discover. He has not the temerity either to invite or defy criticism.
RH. S. S. ANDROS. Fall River, Sept. 8, 1838.