Sixteen of these Letters, which were written at the suggestion of
the Editor of the "St. James's Gazette," appeared in that journal,
from which they are now reprinted, by the Editor's kind permission.
They have been somewhat emended, and a few additions have been made.
The Letters to Horace, Byron, Isaak Walton, Chapelain, Ronsard, and
Theocritus have not been published before.
The gem on the title-page, now engraved for the first time, is a red
cornelian in the British Museum, probably Graeco-Roman, and treated
in an archaistic style. It represents Hermes Psychagogos, with a
Soul, and has some likeness to the Baptism of Our Lord, as usually
shown in art. Perhaps it may be post-Christian. The gem was
selected by Mr. A. S. Murray.
It is, perhaps, superfluous to add that some of the Letters are
written rather to suit the Correspondent than to express the
writer's own taste or opinions. The Epistle to Lord Byron,
especially, is "writ in a manner which is my aversion."