I am, I believe, nearly the only man now surviving who knew much of the excellent "Elia." Assuredly I knew him more intimately than any other existing person, during the last seventeen or eighteen years of his life. In this predicament, and because I am proud to associate my name with his, I shall endeavor to recall former times, and to bring my old friend before the eyes of a new generation. I request the "courteous reader" to accept, for what they are worth, these desultory labors of a lover of letters; and I hope that the advocate for modern times will try to admit into the circle of his sympathy my recollections of a fine Genius departed. No harm—possibly some benefit—will accrue to any one who may consent to extend his acquaintance to one of the rarest and most delicate of the Humorists of England
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