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A Season at Harrogate by Mrs. Hofland

Produced by David Edwards, Ross Cooling and the Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries)








_Benjamin Blunderhead, Esquire, to his Mother_,


With useful and copious NOTES, descriptive of the Objects most worthy of Attention in the Vicinity of Harrogate.

* * * * *

Laugh where we must, be candid where we can.


* * * * *





Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster Row, London; Robinson, Heaton, I. & I. Nicholls, and Baines, Leeds; Wolstenholme, and Todd, York; Hunsley and Thomas, Doncaster; Langdale, Rippon; Edwards, Halifax; Miss Gales, Sheffield; and Wright, Liverpool.


Entered at Stationers' Hall.


That admirable production of Mr. Anstey's the "New Bath Guide," may justly be considered the parent of a numerous progeny of watering place bagatelles, each of which has some resemblance to its father, though not one of them can boast the wit, humour, or poetical talent which so eminently distinguishes those celebrated letters.

The youngest of this race is now presented to the Public with that timidity which arises from conscious imperfection, devoid of the fear which rivalry has endeavoured to excite, and persecution may seek to perpetuate. Neither nurtured by patronage nor dandled by fashion, neither supported by rank nor allied to literary honours, this child of obscurity is cast on the world in a helpless, yet not hopeless state, for the good man's smile has illumed its cradle, and it possesses that confidence derived from purity of intention, and that humility which disarms malice, and draws the sting of criticism.


_High Harrogate_,

_December 1, 1811._


To Mrs. Blunderhead,

_Low Harrogate, July 20th_.

'Tis now forty years and dear mother _you_ know it, Since my great Uncle[1] Simkin set up for a poet, And I'll venture to say that not one in the nation, From that day to this caus'd so much admiration, But tho' I ne'er hope on his humour to hit, Much less catch his genius or glow with his wit, Or blend with simplicity satire so keen, That it laugh'd away sin, while it laugh'd away spleen, Yet since there are many more folks in _our_ times, Than were found about _his_, who make verses and rhymes, I don't see a reason why I should not try, To spread my poor fins and to swim with the fry, You know Drewry of Derby would never refuse, My sonnets, and stanzas, a place in the news, Besides a great name's a great matter we know, James Thompson our schoolmaster always said so, And thought it the best of a hundred good reasons, Why he should write verses as fine as 'The Seasons' Now I being last of the Blunderhead race, As a casuist this doctrine most warmly embrace, And hope my dear mother the parson and you, Whilst conning my letters will give me my due, And say to reward all my labour and pains, He is just like his uncle _save wanting his brains_. But a truce to this subject of grave declamation, My spirit's not suited to sage dissertation, To anatomists leaving the state of my skull, To critics their right of pronouncing me dull, I shall merely go on with my gossiping rhyme, To tell you my method of killing my time, And open as well as I can all the merit, This place of resort is allow'd to inherit. 32

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