Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
(L. E. L.)
Fisher’s Drawing Room Scrap
Peter J. Bolton
Though a Preface be the first page seen in a volume, it is always the last page written. By that time, the golden age of hope has darkened into the iron age of fear. The ideas that seemed at first so delightful, are grown common, by passing through the familiarizing process of writing, printing, and correcting. A proof-sheet is a terrible reality; and you look upon your work with much the same feeling as people look upon the prospect to which they are accustomed—they are much more alive to its faults than its beauties.
For the Volume now offered to the public, I must plead for indulgence. It is not an easy thing to write illustrations to prints, selected rather for their pictorial excellence, than their poetic capabilities; and mere description is certainly not the most popular species of composition. I have endeavoured to give as much variety as possible, by the adoption of any legend, train of reflection, &c., which the subject could possibly suggest; and, with the same view, have inserted the two poems marked "C," for which I am indebted to a friend, whose kindness l gratefully acknowledge. A book like this is a literary luxury, addressed chiefly to a young and gentler class of readers: may I therefore hope, that the judgment I seek to interest will err on the side of kindly allowance.
There are three portraits, to which only brief prose notices are affixed;—the days of poetical flattery are as much past, as those of hoops and minuets. What the genius of Dryden could not redeem, I may be excused from even attempting.
There is an old proverb, "Leave well alone;" I shall, therefore, say little more of the embellishments than to mention, that the voluminous and expensive works from which they are selected, were "fountains sealed" to the many. I need not entreat for the Engravings that indulgence which myself required, but may trust them, as the Grecian orator did his client, to plead and win the cause by their own beauty.
L. E. L.