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In setting my own name to a collection of trifles including several parodies of our recent and living masters in English poetry, I feel that a word of explanation is due.
A very few great writers are too universal to give a handle to parody; many who are not obscure give none for an opposite reason, that they lack any prominent character at all. I believe this doctrine to be sound ; but I have thought it well to secure myself in it by the best possible warrant.
This volume is dedicated to Mr. Swinburne: his friendly acceptance is conclusive proof that at least one of our chief poets in this generation holds the same magnanimous view that was held by Scott, Byron, and others in the classical case of the Rejected Addresses. I am happy to think that these diversions acquire, by being associated with his name, a title to remembrance independent of their own deserts.
My acknowledgments and thanks are hereby given to the owners of the journals in which several of the miscellaneous pieces now first collected have appeared from time to time. F.P.
The First Edition of Leading Cases was published in July 1876, reprinted September 1876 and 1877. The Other Diversions are now (1892) collected for the first time.