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THE SECOND EDITION.
The Author of the following Letters has been induced by the degree of favour which they have undeservedly received, and by the circumstance of their having been read in translations both in Germany and France, to endeavour to render them more deserving of public approbation, than they were in the crude and hasty shape in which they at first appeared. A second visit to some of the scenes described--a considerable intercourse with individuals intimately conversant with Germany, its society, its language, and its manners-and the lapse of above two years at a period of life when most men live to unlearn some
errors, have given him the opportunity of considerably altering and of making some material additions to his work. In the alterations introduced, the Author has, in general, either corrected inaccuracies, or substituted matter which appeared to him of greater interest than that which before occupied its place. Some retrenchments and modifications have also been introduced, from an anxious desire to concede every thing, except truth and conviction, to the feelings of some individuals in Germany for whom the Author must ever entertain sentiments of gratitude and esteem. That any of his former observations should have been misunderstood, or his statements misapplied, by the eminent and estimable persons to whom he alludes, will ever be a subject of sincere regret to the Author: and, should the present edition fall under their notice, he hopes they will find in it some apology for any unpleasant feelings called forth by the perusal of the former.
PREFACÉS The reception which the former edition met with in other quarters excited very
different sentiments. The Author could not but regard it as a compliment, to be visited with many pages of foaming and untranslatable abuse from Kotzebue, in his Literary Journal published at Weimar. That the pensioned correspondent of the Emperor of Russia, who resided in Germany for the express purpose of a literary and political espionnage, and of making periodical delations to his Imperial master, should become
furious at an independent Englishman, * who presumed to inform his countrymen
how Princes were esteemed, and dinners served up on the banks of the Rhine, was an instance of amusing inconsistency which could surprize none who knew any thing of Kotzebue's life and character. In saying this, the Author cannot be suspected of feeling less horror than the rest of the world at that writer's unhappy fatea fate however, which, considering the
virulence and personality of his writings and the unprincipled extravagance of his politics, is rather a subject of lamentation than of wonder.
A lusty plaine abundant of vitaille ;
On emerging from the mountainous defiles through which the magnificent road called the Route Napoleon had followed the brink of the Rhine from Bonn as far as Bingen, we entered a vast rich plain, here and there diversified by undulating hills, and stretching nearly as far as the eye can reach. As I shall probably revisit the banks of the Rhine on my return, you
shall then receive some description of their beauties, which may, comparatively speaking, be said to cease at Bingen. Our road now lay through cheerful and luxuriant avenues of fruit-trees. The purple hills of the Rhingau rose in a fine amphitheatre on the opposite side of the river, while the loaded orchards and the ripe harvest, which the peasants were just beginning to cut,