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IN PROGRESS TO WHICH
MANY FAVORITE COMPOSITIONS ARE PUT IN A LIGHT NOW ENTIRELY NEW,
AS WELL AS
BY ROBERT DEVERELL, ESQ.
WITH ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-SIX WOOD ENGRAVINGS,
GROUPES OF FIGURES.
PRINTED BY J. GILLET, CROWN-COURT, PLE£T-STREET ;
About seven years ago I printed several dissertations, the object of which was to shew that the classic writings and the arts of the ancients, have a constant relation to the sciences; but, well knowing that in bringing such copious subjects under so new a point of view, mistakes must at first be unavoidable, I refrained from publishing those dissertations, and adopted a middle course, by giving away about a hundred copies of them, to various classes of readers. The conclusions to which they led, (among others not less novel,) were these, “ That in “ all the classics, and in the different spe“ cimens of the arts which have come down ss to us from the ancients, no part of any of
" them is to be understood, without sup“ posing that they are mere vehicles of
knowledge, not intended to meet the eye
or the understanding on the first inspec“ tion or perusal ;” and “ that this myste“ rious, or enigmatical method of composi- tion exists in other voluminous writings “ of a much later date than those which are “ commonly called classics.”
In a future volume of this undertaking I shall resume the consideration of some of the details presented in those dissertations, to which the intermediate volumes will be no unfit introduction. If those intermediate volumes should appear at first sight to have no very close connection with the general title of the book, such a connection will be more manifest hereafter. It will be unnecessary to say more here, when I shall have brought to the reader's recollection the
following fable, prefixed to the romance of Gil Blas : this fable will be found strictly applicable to every thing I am about to notice in the ensuing pages, and may at the same time serve to justify a suspicion, that the entertaining production at the head of which it stands, might itself, if properly explained, be adduced in proof of both the propositions above advanced : “ Gil Blas au lecteur-Avant que d'entendre l'histoire de ma vie, écoute, ami lecteur, un conte que je vais te faire. Deux écoliers alloient ensemble de Penafiel à Salamanque. Se sentant las et altérés, ils s'arrêtèrent au bord d'une fontaine, qu'ils rencontrèrent sur leur chemin. Là, tandis qu'ils se délassoient, aprés s'être désaltérés, ils apperçûrent par hazard auprès d'eux, sur une pierre à fleur de terre, quelques mots déjà un peu effacés par le temps et par
les pieds des troupeaux, qu'on venoit abreuver à cette fontaine. Ils