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account it will be perceived, that after making use of one of the best old Collections as a standard, all the rest were little more than mere repetitions; and that the very modern ones were entirely useless.

After all, I would not presume to say that I have culled every valuable production which this branch of Poetry affords. Difference of taste will always prevent uniformity of judgment, even where the faculties of judging are equal; and I have been much less solicitous to give a Collection to which nothing could be added, than one from which nothing could reasonably be rejected. In Song-Writing, as well as in every other production of art, there is a large class of the mediocres, which are of such dubious merit, as would allow the Reader to hesitate in his approbation of them. I have felt very little scruple in rejecting a number of these. It is not enough that Poetry does not disgust, it ought to give raptures. A much more disagreeable piece of severity was the rejection of several Pieces, marked with a rich vein of genuine Poetry, but not suf

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ficiently guarded from offending that charming delicacy of the sex, which every man must admire, and ought to respect. These were the luxuriances of an age, when the men of pleasure lavished wit and genius, as well as health and fortune, upon their diversions. Had they lived at a time when taste was more refined, and manners were less licentious, their natural gallantry would have restrained them from offering an outrage to those, whom they most wished for readers and admirers.

I hope I have now said enough to intimate for what class of readers this Work is calculated. The soft warbler, who fills up a vacancy of thought with a tune, in which the succession of words gives no idea but that of a succession of sounds, will here be much disappointed in meeting with the names of Prior, Congreve, and Landsdowne, instead of Arne, Brent, and Tenducci. The midnight roarer of coarse jest and obscenity will be still farther out of his element. But to those who are enamoured with that sacred art, which beyond every other elevates and

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refines the soul, to whom the sprightly lyre of Horace and Anacreon, and the melting music of Sappho still sound, though ages have passed since they vibrated on the ear, I will venture to promise a source of enjoyment, from the Works of those great masters whose names adorn this Collection, which I hope they will not think too dearly purchased by the perusal of such introductory matter as is submitted to their candid examination.

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A TABLE OF FIRST LINES.

297 307 222

A CHIEFTAIN to the Highlands bound
A nymph of every charm possess’d
Ah! Chloris could I now but sit
Ah! cruel maid how hast thou chang'd
Ah ! how sweet it is to love

Ah! the shepherd's mournful fate
! Ah! why must words my flame reveal

Alexis shunn'd his fellow swains
All in the Downs the fleet was moor’d
All my past life is mine no more
An amorous swain to Juno pray'd
As Amoret with Phyllis sat
As Ariana, young and fair,
As Granville's soft numbers tune Myra's just praise
As near a weeping spring reclin'd
As on a summer's day
As the snow in vallies lying
Ask if yon damask rose be sweet
Ask me why I send you here
Ask'st thou how long my love shall stay
Aspasia rolls her sparkling eyes
At Cynthia's feet I pray’d, I wept !
Away, let nought to love displeasing
Away with these self-loving lads

279 328 103 110 67 58 203 206 150 235

316 116

65 218 326 348

280 254 238 159 264

Bid me when forty winters more
Blest as th’immortal gods is he

152 101

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