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INTRODUCTION.

SECTION I.

The History of Romantic Fabling is enveloped in much perplexity ; nor is it diminished by the various conjectures which have been started and upheld. The labours of ingenuity are not always convincing; and perhaps the very fact of their plausibility leads us to mistrust. Discussion upon remote history is ever attended with difficulty; and arguments that rest upon the basis of refined deduction--that are artfully designed to pull down one system while they support another equally imaginative, may have a well-founded

VOL. I.

claim to admiration, but not upon the score of truth. It is singular how the mind loves to grasp at mystery, and to disport itself in the chaos of departed time. It springs undauntedly forward, unappalled by the numberless shadows which flit in “dim perspective" before it, and undeterred by the intricacies of the way. It would seem like a captive escaped from confinement, wantoning in the excess of unaccustomed liberty, And the more boundless the subject, the less timid we find the adventurer; the more perilous the journey, the less wary are his movements. Boldness appears to constitute success; as if, because the faint heart never attained the fair lady, modest pretensions, and unassuming merit, never secured the lady TRUTH. It is a libel upon the head and the heart; and cannot be too speedily abandoned.

Of the theories already advanced, none, it

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