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genius, less than he is excelled in taste. If therefore the admirers of the one be superior in zeal, those of the other are probably superior in number; both having many friends, but Cowper no foes. The latter, it may likewise be added, writing under a deep conviction of his own deme. rits, delights to enumerate, with grateful humility, and to dwell on, every little pleasing circumstance of his condition; while Burns, under a contrary impression, betrays, in the effusions of his genius, a stern and haughty discontent with a portion so unworthy of his claims and capacity of enjoyment. The comparison shall be closed hy remarking, that both its celebrated subjects occasionally indulge in relaxing the elaboration of their compositions, and sliding into a carelessness which renders some passages very unequal to the excellence of the rest.
It may now appear time to close this memoir, of wbich the excess, beyond the few pages projected by the author, will, he fears, not be justified by its value, for he has been more fortunate in satisfying the editors with its extent, than himself with its execution. It was hastily written in the short and uncertain intervals of more urgent avocations; and the constant interruptions by which it was disturbed, may serve as some apology for want of connection, for repetition, and perhaps for occasional inconsistency. Should it be discovered to contain little novelty of information, or ingenuity of remark, the reader must be reminded that neither was promis. ed, and that the credit of this discovery is claimed by the author. In every step he found himself anticipated, and proceeded under an impression, that his engagement was only to couch his materials in such a form, as might supply this publication with the usual appendages, without trenching on the property of others. By the heated and enthusiastic admirers of Burns, he will probably be censured for his unnecessary severity; while, on the other hand, the apolo. getic remarks, by which he only wished to trim the balance of opinion fairly, will give no less offence to others, who cannot prevent their minds from allowing the excellence of the poet to be depreciated by the errors of the man, and their rebuke of immorality to be embittered by the absence of its imposing decorations. But if the censure of these two parties should be nearly equal, the author will accept it as a testimony of his success, in guarding against the prejudices of both, and in shaping a course, as he intended, under the combined direction of Charity and Justice.
ERRATA,-IN THE LIFE. Page xlii. line 5. for 1791 read 1781.
lxxxii. line 10. for life read lip.
IN THE APPENDIX. 295. line 12. for cauld read auld. 328, line 17. for Cromak read Cromek.