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Embellished with two elegant Engravings, from Designs
by R. K. Porter, Esq.
At lucre or renown let others aim;
I only wish to please the gentle mind, Whom Nature's charms inspire, and love of human kind.
Printed and Sold by J. Raw;
ORME, AND VERNOR AND HOOD, LONDON.
POETRY has always been held in the highest estimation, as a source both of entertainment and instruction. It is calculated to convey information in the most agreeable and impressive, manner; and to improve the heart, by interesting the affections, and delighting the imagination.
With such advantages on its side, it must, then, be highly desirable that a taste for poetical composition should be generally cultivated; and that the productions of our best writers should be read and studied, by all who have attained to an age to enter into their spirit, and to relish their beauties.
The works of our English Poets are, however, too voluminous and expensive to be within the reach of the generality of readers ; and, at the same time, comprise such an injudicious mixture of the worst with the best pieces in the language, not only in point of poetical merit, but also in their moral tendency, that it were by no meang proper they should be submitted to the indiscriminate perusal of the youth of either sex.
Judicious selections must, therefore, be allowed to have their use; and may, perhaps, be considered as most proper for younger readers.
How far the present collection may lay claim to this title, must be left to the public judgment to decide.
With the exception of the few original poems, which will be found interspersed among them, the aim of the editor has beeń, to select from the works of the most approved authors, without at all regarding the date of their production, such pieces as appeared to him most valuable, principally on account either of the purity of their moral, or the correctness and elegance of their composition. His plan extended only to pieces of the shorter kind ; and he has deviated from it only where the decided superiority of merit will, he trusts, amply justify him.
That his choice bas been in every instance as judicious and select as he might have made it, he presumes nor to åssert. It should be consi. dered from how large and crude a mass he had to draw his materials; and how difficult it must have been to fix upon no piece which might not have be enexchanged with advantage. He has endeavoured, however, to weave a CHAPLET which