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DEC 10 1929
(172) Southern District of New-York, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundreii and twenty-seven, and in the fifty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, Elam Bliss, of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit: " The Talisman for MDCCCXXVII.
--There's magic in the web of it.-
As nothing else can match.--Othello." In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled “ An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefit thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
FRED. J. BETTS,
J. SEYMOUR, PRINTER, JOHN-STREET.
I am not an author by profession, though I believe there are few of my countrymen whose works, if collected, would fill more volumes than mine. I have travelled much, and often in company with those whose writings have since delighted and instructed the world. It was always my custom, like other travellers, to keep a journal, in which I entered notes of uncommon or amusing incidents, descriptions of remarkable places, accounts of singular customs, and records of local traditions. My fellow-travellers often paid me the compliment of borrowing my portfolio,
for the purpose of refreshing their recollection of our joint observations and adventures, and I have afterwards had the pleasure of seeing what I thought my finest passages published under great names, printed on hot-pressed wire-wove paper, illustrated with superb plates, praised and quoted in the reviews, and circulated in the newspapers wherever the English language is spoken. In this way I am sure of going down to future times, and posterity will converse with me in the works of the best describers of the manners and customs of nations at the present day.
My verses have circulated pretty freely in manuscript, and have met with a similar fate. I have seen some of them published among the miscellaneous poems of authors of no mean note, and others woven with great ingenuity into the body of some popular metrical romance. I once lent a manuscript tragedy to a friend of mine, and I am told it has since been performed with singular suc
cess and applause at the Drury Lane theatre in London, and at the Park in New York. At Drury Lane the reputed author took a benefit, when I was last in London, which brought him four hundred and sixty pounds. I have never seen it acted, and probably never shall; especially as I learn that the gentleman who enjoys the credit of having written it, has interpolated so many ranting passages of his own, that I should be wholly unwilling to acknowledge it. Besides, I hold the stage and all its concerns very cheap, and intended my work not for the players, but as a drama
I remained so well satisfied with this equivocal sort of notoriety, which allowed me the luxury of devouring in secret the praises bestowed on my writings, and permitted me to soothe myself under any occasional censure by the reflection that it was not aimed at me by the critic, nor applied to me by the world, that I had made a sort of resolution never to appear
in public in the character of an author. But having been teased by my friends, who were pleased to speak of several of my manuscript compositions, although carelessly enough written, as being equal to any thing which my friends the poets and travellers had borrowed of me, and my bookseller having moreover offered to print them in his best manner, and to embellish them with the finest engravings he could procure, I have been prevailed upon, somewhat against my better judgment, to give them to the world in this shape. As an encouragement to the project, my friend Morse presented me with a charming original design in illustration of a favourite little piece of mine, entitled the Serenade ; and Inman proffered his noble picture of Tell in chains, to be engraved as an accompaniment to a Sonnet on the same subject, which I wrote in Tell's chapel, at the foot of the Righi, with the snowy pinnacles of the Alps looking down upon me. Moreover,