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TO THOMAS BARNES, ESQ.
OF THE INNER TEMPLE.
MY DEAR BARNES,
I DEDICATED the first poetical attempt of my maturer years to a man of wit and scholarship, who stood the next above me at school;-allow me to present the second to another, who stood the next below. How far he was my superior in general knowledge, and the anticipation of a manly judgment, I well remember;-but I am not
going to deviate into the old language of dedications;-I merely allude to these circumstances as calculated to call up pleasant recollections with a variety of readers, and in grateful acknowledgment of a species of friendship, which is of all others the most agreeable. It is the oldest of all friendships; and yet has a charm, which prevents the enjoyers of it from ever seeming to grow old with each other.
Pray forget, if you can, while you are listening to a still more familiar and fire-side voice, your other intimate friends, the great poets; and believe me
Most sincerely your's,
10th July, 1814,