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The principal motive which induced the Proprietor to fubmit to the Public this Library, was the irregular, ponderous and inconvenient fize in which most of the esteemed and popular works were printed, the inelegant manner in which they were executed, and the enormous Prices which have ever been attached to them; which obvious objections it is the intention of this Library to remove; as it unites elegance with cheapness and utility, and embraces all the advantages of the largeft Editions, without omitting, the convenience of the smallest.
A plan embracing fuch effential requifites, demands the ferious attention and encouragement of the Public; for, by engaging the firft Artifs in the kingdom to embellish and decorate the refpective works in the fuperior Edition, the arts are not only encouraged, but the taste and judgment of those who are difpofed to cultivate them greatly promoted and highly improved; while the CHEAP EDITIONS are no lefs important to the general class of readers, as they place within their reach the MOST ESTEEMED PRODUCTIONS in the English language, by affixing to each work but Half the Price they have ever yet been fold at.
As a COMPLETE LIBRARY, comprifmg all the most efteemed works in the English language, each printed on the fame Type, on the fame Size, on the fame Paper, and embellished by the fame. Artifts, was never before attempted in this Kingdom: it is prefumed that the advantages refulting from it will be evident to the Public; particularly as each Edition of the refpective works will excel in Elegance any that have preceded them, and be reduced to lefs than Half the Expence of the most common and unadorned editions. This important purpofe has been effected by deferting the ufual mode of printing on types difproportionably large, with prepofterous margins, confiderable fpaces between the lines, and unneceffary blanks before and after the chapters, heads, &c. by which means former works have been enhanced to a double expence, without embracing one good purpofe for their end. This plan of eafy purchase has alfo been further promoted by the facrifice of a very confiderable portion of the profits ufually attached to works of celebrity. This plan, therefore, from the Cheapness, is a faving of more then Fifty per cent. to the purchafer, as is demonftratively evident from the Prices attached to each Work.
The Octo-decimo fize in all the works being invariably adhered to, the Library, therefore, appears with that UNIFORM ELEGANCE which a collection of volumes of promifcuous fizes cannot exhibit; and the volumes, from their uniformity, are infinitely more decorative to the library than an arrangement in the promifcuous fizes of Quarto, Octavo, Duodecimo, &c. This fize is alfo more commodious than the Octavo or Duodecimo, which are too large and ponderous for the pocket, and calculated more for works of fcience than amuse. ̧
The uniformity of the works through the whole of the Library, has enabled the Proprietor to adapt to them Portable Bookcafes. He has alfo had another Bookcafe constructed, which occupies a space of only feven inches from the back of the room, a circumftance which, for small apartments, must be peculiarly convenient and defirable; nor is it lefs eligible for a room of great extent. This new and commodious contrivance, contains and exhibits to view, as many works as other Bookcafes of five times its magnitude, and may be purchased at one Third of the Expence. A bookcafe upon this commodious, yet elegant plan, may be feen at the warehoufe of the Proprietor, who engages to fupply the Nobility and Gentry with Bookcafes upon the fame plan, adapted to any frace required. As this Plan has the united advantages of Economy, Elegance, and Portability, it is hoped it will meet with the Patronage of the Admirers of Polite Literature; and from the efforts the Proprietor has exerted in its accomplishment, he flatters himfelf that his Editions will gain admiffion into the Li-, braries of the Literati, and the most fashionable of the prefent' Age.
That the Public may form an idea of the fuperior Execution of the Embellishments which accompany this Select Library, the Paintings and Drawings from which the Prints are taken, are fubmitted to infpection, free of expence, from the Hours of Nine to Three, at the Proprietor's Exhibition Room, in Paternofter Row; where alfo may be feen, fuch fubjects as are prepared for other Works, intended to be added to this Library.Thofe Paintings from which Engravings have been taken, having fubferved the purpofe of the Publi cations, are to be disposed of confiderably under their original soft.
POETS, NOVELS, AND SACRED CLASSICS, ALREADY PUBLISHED,
Which may be had in Volumes, fewed or bound. For the Accommodation of those who fhould prefer taking the Works more progresively, either of them may be had in feparate Numbers, c
Price only Sixpence each.
'As any of the Works may he had detached from the Re, the Readors may confine their Choice to as few as they think proper.
Cunningham I o Broome
The above Works of the Poets, as alfo thofe enumerated in the Catalogue of the Novels, and Sacred Claffics, will be followed by others of equal Eftimation, as none will gain Admiffion into this Library but fuch as have been stamped with univerfal Approbation.
From the very low Prices affixed to the above Works, the Public may perceive how infinitely cheaper these Editions are than any others offered to their Notice, as will be evident by referring to Johnfun's or Bell's Editions, whence it will appear, that thefe Editions are nearly One Third cheaper, although embellifhed and printed in a Manner fuperior to either, which a Moment's Infpection will clearly demonftrate. The fame Reduction of Prices, and Superiority of Execurion, accompany the Select Poets and Sacred Claffics.
As the Intention of this Work is to give only the original Productions of the refpective Poets, it will not, of courfe, con tain any Translations, except in a few Inftances, where the Tranflations are not fufficiently ample to fill a Volume, in which Cafe they will be interfperfed with the original Pieces; but that thofe Readers who are partial to the Tranflations, may not be difappointed of poffeffing Editions of them, on a Scale correfponding with the prefent Selection, it is intended to publifh them, as a feparate Work, upon a Plan precifely fimilar to the prefent, in which will be given those much-esteemed Productions, Pope's Homer, Dryden's Virgi Garth's Ovid and Francis's Horace, which will be followed by other Tranflations of equal Celebrity.
At a Period when the Arts have arrived to a Degree of Perfection unexampled in the Annals of this Countrywhen the Genius of the Nation is refined in Proportion to its Improvement, and an universal Tafte prevails for Beauty and Excellence, it was thought the beft Seafon for offering to the Notice of the Public, the complete Productions of the moft efteemed British Bards; and fince the Productions of the Drama, and the moft efteemed Novels, have been reduced to a convenient and portable Size, and embellished with the most faifhed Execution of the Prefs and Pencil, the Proprietor thought the Poets no lefs entitled to thofe fuperior Decorations.
There is an happy Combination between the Arts of Poetry and Painting. What the Poet achieves by elaborate Detail, the Painter accomplishes by inftantaneous Effect. To the Imagination of the Poet the Painter is indebted for all his happiest Subjects; and, in return, the Embellishments of the Pencil reflect a Luftre on the best Productions of the Mufe. The Union, therefore, of Poetry and Painting affords an Employment for the Mind, at once elegant, delightful, and inftructive; and, when recommended with every Degree of Tafte and Elegance, they must evidently claim the. liberal Patronage of the Admirers of Poetic Genius, exerted in all the Display of lively Fancy. It is, therefore, the Defign of this Work to combine the fublime and refined Ideas of the Poet with the picturefque and elegant Reprefentations of the Arift; and to prefent at once, to the Mind and the Eye, the most beautiful and ftriking Objects, in all the Har mony of Verfe and Force of Colouring.
Poetry opens a more extenfive Field for the Flights of Fancy, and the Indulgence of the Imagination, than the Productions of the Hiftorian or the Moralift; for what can be a more luxurious Banquet to the fpeculative Mind, than the fublime Deferiptions of Milton, the enchanting Pictures of Shenstone, the ruftic Scenery of Thomfon, or the beautiful Imagery of Akenfide.
When Objects fo happily adapted to expand the Ideas, are heightened by the united Efforts of the Prefs and Pencil, it is prefumed that a Work formed on fo eligible a Pian, may embolden the Proprietor to folicit, not only the Support of those Friends who have patronifed his former Undertaking, but the Countenance of all the Lovers of the Polite Arts, to whom the Effufions of exalted Genius mut ever appear Objects for beau tiful Illuftration.
The cheap Editions of the NOVELS, POETS, and SACRED CLASSICS, contain an elegant Engraving in every Number. The fuperior editions of each refpective work contain Portraits of the Authors, Scene Reprefentations, and Vignette Frontifpieces; and, as many of the works are comprized in one Number, all fuch Numbers, of course, contain Three Engravings, at the fmall advance of only Sixpence each Number; therefore, Specimens of thofe works may be had on eafy terms, which will demonftrate their fuperiority more effectually than any Eulogium that can be bestowed. Various