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The cause of this distribution was, from observing it my peculiar case to be often under a temptation of being witty upon occasions where I could be neither wise nor sound, nor anything to the matter in hand, and I am too much a servant of the modern way to neglect any such opportunities, whatever pains or improprieties I may be at to introduce them. For I have observed, that from a laborious collection of seven hundred and thirty-eight flowers and shining hints of the best modern authors, digested with great reading into my book of commonplaces, I have not been able, after five years, to draw, hook, or force into common conversation any more than a dozen. Of which dozen, the one moiety failed of success by being dropped among unsuitable company, and the other cost me so many strains and traps and ambages to introduce, that I at length resolved to give over. Now this disappointment to discover a secret, I must own, gave me the first hint of setting up for an author; and I have since found, among some particular friends, that it is become a very general complaint, and has produced the same effects upon many others. For I have remarked many a towardly word to be wholly neglected or despised in discourse which hath passed very smoothly, with some consideration and esteem, after its preferment and sanction in print. But now, since, by the liberty and encouragement of the press, I am grown absolute master of the occasions and
opportunities to expose the talents I have acquired, I already discover that the issues of my observanda begin to grow too large for the receipts. Therefore, I shall here pause a while till I find, by feeling the world's pulse and my own, that it will be of absolute necessity for us both to resume my pen.
PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.
14 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND, W.C.
IN TWELVE VOLUMES, CROWN 8vo, PARCHMENT BOARDS OR CLOTH, PER VOLUME, 7s. 6d.
COLD SPANISH ROMANCES
ILLUSTRATED WITH ETCHINGS.
By LE SAGE. Translated from the French. Illustrated with Four Original Etchings by R. DE Los Rios. Crown 8vo.
THE BACHELOR OF SALAMANCA. By LE SAGE. Translated from the French by JAMES TOWNSEND. Illustrated with Four Original Etchings by R. DE LOS RIOS.
VANILLO GONZALES; or, The Merry Bachelor. By LE Sage. Translated from the French. Illustrated with Four Original Etchings by R. DE LOS RIOS.
THE ADVENTURES OF GIL BLAS OF SANTILLANE. Translated from the French of LE SAGE by TOBIAS SMOLlett. With Biographical and Critical Notice of LE SAGE by GEORGE SAINTSBURY. New Edition, carefully revised. Illustrated with Twelve Original Etchings by R. DE LOS RIOS. Three volumes. THE HISTORY OF DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA. Translated from the Spanish of MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA by MOTTEUX. With copious Notes (including the Spanish Ballads), and an Essay on the Life and Writings of CERVANTES by JOHN G. LOCKHART. Preceded by a Short Notice of the Life and Works of PETER ANTHONY MOTTEUX by HENRI VAN LAUN. Illustrated with Sixteen Original Etchings by R. DE LOS Rios. Four volumes.
LAZARILLO DE TORMES. By Don DIEGO MENDOZA. Translated by THOMAS ROSCOE. And GUZMAN D'ALFARACHE. By MATEO ALEMAN. Translated by BRADY. Illustrated with Eight Original Etchings by R. DE LOS RIOS. Two volumes.
"The Daily News," October 5, 1881.
"Our age has been described as one of abridgments and of little books. There are pocket manuals of all the sciences, and all knowledge has been condensed till it could almost be forced into the proverbial nutshell. We seem to be coming round to Edgar Poe's opinion, that a long poem is a contradiction in terms. 'Selections' are made from all the poets for the comfort of people of moderate leisure and limited perseverance. Matthew Arnold has relieved Byron and Wordsworth of their superfluous baggage, and much of the wealth of English lyrics is commodiously packed in the 'Golden Treasury.' Messrs. Nimmo & Bain, the publishers of a very handsome edition of the old Spanish romances of adventure, seem to have a higher opinion of the perseverance of modern readers. In twelve pretty volumes, bound in parchment and illustrated with etchings, we have English versions of Don Quixote,' ' Gil Blas,' 'Vanillo Gonzales,' 'Asmodeus,' 'Lazarillo de Tormes,' and ‘Guzman d'Alfarache,' that famed picaroon and noted rogue of Spain. Many of these romances are Spanish chiefly in local colour and in remote origin. Others are the work, suggested by Spanish models, of the illustrious Le Sage, whose biography, by that accomplished and learned critic, Mr. Saintsbury, is prefixed to Gil Blas.' The merit for modern readers of these old stories lies partly in their inexhaustible wit, their knowledge of human nature, which never grows stale, and partly in their pictures of the old reckless life of Spain. A typical example of these novels is the fictitious autobiography of Guzman d'Alfarache, the Spanish rogue, written by Matthew Aleman at the beginning of the seventeenth century.'
"The Daily Telegraph," December 10, 1881.
"A handy and beautiful edition, in twelve volumes, of the works of the Spanish masters of romance calls for a word of acknowledgment from all who desire to see the lights of foreign literature fitly presented to the notice of English readers. We may say of this edition of the immortal work of Cervantes, that it is most tastefully and admirably executed, and that it is embellished with a series of striking etchings from the pen of the Spanish artist, De Los Rios. This admirable etcher has added similar characteristically Spanish illustrations to all the volumes of the present series of Spanish romance-writers, and, as a general rule, with the happiest effect. We may mention, as among the very best of the etchings contained in these volumes, the duel in 'Gil Blas' and the last scene of all in the history of the Knight of La Mancha. The best known of the
other works comprised in the series is undoubtedly Le Sage's The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane,' rendered into English by Tobias Smollett, and with a biographical and critical notice of Le Sage by George Saintsbury. Three volumes of beautifully-perspicuous type dispose of the story of Gil Blas,' and the rest of the series is devoted to less famous but not less attractive works. Le Sage contributes his 'Asmodeus' and 'The Bachelor of Salamanca,' as well as the story of 'Vanillo Gonzales.' In two other volumes we are introduced to the admirable comic and amorous romances of 'Lazarillo de Tormes,' by Mendoza, and 'Guzman d'Alfarache,' by Mateo Aleman. It may safely be stated that an introduction to the study of these great Spanish authors could not be more agreeably effected than through the medium of the present edition. Those who have already made acquaintance with these masterpieces of exotic humour will need no encouragement to send them once again to a fountain from which such pure enjoyment is to be derived, and in so acceptable a shape as Messrs. Nimmo and Bain have provided."
"The Scotsman," October 7, 1881.
"What man of middle age is there, who has been a reader of books, who does not look back with pleasure to his first acquaintance with Don Quixote' or the 'Adventures of Gil Blas'? If he has been a wise man of equal mind, he has gone further afield in these romances, and has made acquaintance with Asmodeus,' 'The Bachelor of Salamanca,' and other works of a like kind. They have been read by many thousands of British readers, and they will be read by many thousands more. Towards this result the publication of the twelve volumes named above will greatly contribute. They are good and goodlooking books. Handy in form, they are well printed from clear type, and are got up with much elegance. French etchers have turned their attention to the work of illustrating romances and novels and plays of the period to which most of these stories belong, and they have added greatly to their value as works of art. In regard to these volumes, the etchings which have been produced by R. de Los Rios are full of humour and force. What the reading public have reason to congratulate themselves upon is, that so neat, compact, and well-arranged an edition of romances that can never die is put within their reach. The publishers have spared no pains with them. It has already been said that Mr. Saintsbury has written a prefatorial notice of Le Sage; a similar work has been done by other hands in the case of Cervantes. It is satisfactory to find publishers turning their attention to the reproduction, in worthy form, of classic fiction; and the hope may be entertained that in this case the enterprise will meet with merited reward,"