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work, its real author would have been almost the last upon whom my conjectures had fallen. This is one of those many cruel deceptions I have experienced in the course of my life, which, I cannot dissemble it, have occasioned me very severe heart-aches. What are all the daggers aimed by the Literary Intelligencer' in comparison with one stab from the hand of a friend he loved, awaking the sleeper from a pleasing dream?
Not less unexpected and agonizing to me than the stab to such a sleeper, was the stroke I received, when Huber, by the publication of his miscellaneous writings, threw aside the mask of the critic. When I found that he, in whose company I had passed so many pleasant hours-he, whose talents I had so much admired, and whose acquaintance I had highly valued—he who appeared so warmly attached to me-he, who, notwithstanding the general indifference he shewed to my writings, had honoured my Virgin of the Sun' so far as to enrich it with an additional scene, and of such inerit, that I only wish I had been permitted to publish it-he, in a word, from whom I parted with a most cordial embrace—that he was the man who had thrust the dagger into my back.
I may be told, perhaps, that a great distinction is to be made between the remarks of the critic, and what passes in friendly intercourse between two private acquaintance. But to me, I know, it would be impossible to endeavour to depreciate a man in the eyes of the world, to whom in private I had made professions of friendship and attachment. Good God! if public applause must resemble a beautiful woman, to win whose smiles even a brother, perhaps, must seek a brother's destruction, it is no object of my wishes—I renounce it for ever. *
* When I publish the second part of this sketch, I will endeavour to throw some light upon the probable foundation of this critique of Huber's. It appears to me not wholly
But enough on this subject.-Let me proceed to correct a passage in the third volume of `Forster's Views.' Speaking of the English theatre, he says, “ The dramas of one KotZEBUE would please upon the English stage, with the addition only of a few grains of salt.”
Strongly was I inclined, on reading this passage, to offer the publisher a wager that he could not produce it in Forster's own hand-writing: Nor could he possibly have been offended at my declaring, that I would accept of no minor proof of its authenticity. Such a suspension of my belief is but a tribute due to the esteem I entertained for his deceased friend. Often have I consulted Forster on my writings, and his judgment was always given with a modesty and humility peculiarly his own. It is true that he has found things to censure in my dramas, but never did he appear to consider them as wanting salt; and if I must choose between regarding this passage as an interpolation, or believing the worthy Forster to have been guilty of tergiversation, I certainly shall abide by the former opinion..
Whatever I have written since, has been received in a very flattering manner by the public; and, as was consequently to be expected, with scarcely less' contumely by the critics. I shall only here give a list of these works.
Count Benyowsky; or, the Conspiracy of Kamtschatka.
The Spaniards in Peru; or, the Death of Rolla.
The Man of Forty Years Old.* incredible, that spleen and ill-nature at the superior success of a rival dramatist may lurk beneath his remarks, since it is certain, that the fate of his own dramatic productions has' not been brilliant.-AUTHOR.
* This is a little piece in one act, taken from the same French petite pièce as the pleasing English farce of The Guardian.'
The Negro Slaves.
Many of my dramas have received the distinguished honour of being translated into French, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Russian, and even Italian. A new.thorn in the sides of the critics.t
Not many days ago, I received a letter from Moscow, in which my correspondent writes :
“ Your drama of "The Natural Son' has been played here as often, and with no less applause, than was the 'Marriage of Figaro' at Paris. It is well translated into Russian.”
Is it not somewhat extraordinary, that at the same time, in so many different countries, the public should manifest so perverted a taste? That they should find things worthy of patronage and applause, on which the Literary Intelligencer' has been pleased to pronounce an irrevocable sentence of damnation ?-But hold! the investigation of so curious a phenomenon shall be reserved for the sequel of this work.
For the present I have done with myself. Heaven grant that none of my readers may have yawned over this detail of my literary adventures ! Should I be reproached with having intruded a parcel of trifling insignificant circumstances upon the world—with having, as it is said of Marivaux,“ poised nothings in a balance made of a spider's web," I will not pretend to refute the charge. I shall only observe, that,
* This is a collection of miscellaneous pieces, whence the present sketch of the author's life is extracted.
+ To this list of nations that have regarded Kotzebue's works with no slight degree of approbation, he might soon have added, and probably often with a considerable degree of satisfaction, the English.
according to my ideas, to those who make the human heart their study, nothing can be uninteresting which contributes towards tracing the progress of its formation, nothing insignificant which tends to shew by what process a man comes to be what he is, be his talents many or few. Every one who shall purchase this book, knows beforehand what he is to expect. These little volumes are the Offspring of my Fancy,' consequently must be compiled after my own humour, not after that of other people, unless I mean to falsify their title.
The continuation of this sketch, which I intend to publish at some future period, I must request all its readers to consider as a defence extorted from me by my calumniators So often have I been dragged by the critics to the bar of their and my judges, the public, that it would appear too much like treating those judges with indifference at least, if not with contempt, were I entirely to abstain from answering their charges. In this view of the matter, I have some claim to pardon and indulgence. Yet let me assure that public to whom I appeal, that no endeavours shall be omitted on my part, to enliven, as far as possible, so dry a subject, by strewing some flowers in the path, and that I will never lose sight of what Beaumarchais says with so much justice—“Has a man any claim, because he is in the right, to give his readers the vapours, and make his judges yawn with ennui ?-Alas! their situation is already but too iiko