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common, especially among contributors to periodicals. They have been highly commended as satires, at once forcibly and felicitously drawn.
Another kind of essay will be found in the succeeding pages, which attract attention, and surprise one into merriment, by the novel views taken of hacknied subjects, and the sly pleasantry with which they advocate the wrong side of the question. Among them are the defence of “Idle People,” the raillery against “Early Rising," and the address to the “ Marriageable Ladies of the United States.” No intelli- "; gent reader will believe that the author intends, in the last, seriously to discountenance temperance societies, which have certainly been productive of great benefits to the nation. It is a mere exhibition of the irony and talent for burlesquing, in which he is very successful.
No apology is deemed necessary for in
troducing the theatrical portraits, which appear in the second volume. Although they are of a transitory nature, most of the subjects are yet before the public; and, belonging to a profession, the members of which are known by their talents to large classes of people, and generally called to mind with pleasurable associations-descriptions of them, like their pictures, are recognized with interest. Little need be said of them by the editor, except that the sketch of Fanny Kemble does no justice to her present improved talents and brilliant eminence, and that the badinage directed against Mr. Richings (who is, seriously, an excellent and useful actor) must be regarded as intended good-naturedly, and as merely the offspring of a merry mood. Mrs. Sharpe too has improved, in many respects, since our artist pencilled her features so rapidly.
There are several local allusions, and hits
at passing events, which might have been expunged; but the author not being in the country, the editor was unwilling to alter the text, and it is hoped that the fact of the pieces' having been originally composed for a periodical, will be received as a sufficient explanation. If discrepancies, deficiencies, or tautologies be discovered, it will be recollected that the essays are not deliberately prepared, revised and corrected by the author, and put forth by him as specimens of his abilities ; but that they are mere unpremeditated effusions, struck out in the heat of the moment, intended but for a careless, passing glance, and then to be thrown aside and forgotten. They were hastily furnished for the Mirror, at the solicitation of George P. Morris, Esq. a gentleman to whose discriminating zeal in the cause of American periodical literature they owe their existence. The editor trusts that, on this occasion, criticism will not be inconsiderately severe, but, instead of coldly repressing the talent here displayed, that it will encourage the youthful writer to more elaborate efforts.
CONTENTS OF VOL I.