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been determined to give a great variety in a small compass, doubtless the selection might have been made with more judgment, so far as respects the union of the beautiful with the sublime: but if I have not been so happy as to have chosen what is here printed so as to please every one's taste, let what I intended in my idea of such a publication be remembered; and that, if I have not succeeded in pleasing them, so neither have I entirely in pleasing myself: for, in making the selection, being carried back by recollection to the pleasant days of youth, when I wandered at large in the delightful regions of Poesy, I found authors and pieces multiply so fast that I hardly knew what to choose or what to reject: indeed, had I inserted every thing which I admired, for beauty of sentiment or elegance of expression, instead of a small pocket
volume, I should have produced a folio.
How well this little Collection may answer the end proposed, must be left to the Public to determine; but as the Price is so trifling an object, I trust that will alleviate any disappointment that may arise from the purchase, as I can sincerely assure them, that my design was, purely to give Youth a Taste for Classic Elegance, and while I attempted to delight the Fancy, to improve the Morals and to harmonize the Heart.
To the former Edition of this Collection were subjoined some Notes and Observations on the various Authors and their Works, from whence the pieces were selected; these are now excluded, and more pieces inserted in their stead; as from the daily republication of the different authors' works there mentioned, in such a variety of different editions, it would be difficult properly to particularize them all. Some few short pieces in the former edition have also been omitted, to make room for others of more recent date, and greater celebrity: two in particular; one the beautiful stanzas
by the late Duchess of DEVONSHire, on The Passage of the Mount St. Gothard; the other, the much and deservedly admired prize Poem, entitled Palestine, by Mr. HEBER;either of which, alone, is worth more than the price of the whole Book. For the anonymous Poems, the Editor is so far accountable, as to entreat the pardon of his Readers, where he may appear defective either in genius or in judgment.
The Four Ages, from Ovid's Metamorphofes
The Beginning of the 2d Book of Lucretius