« PředchozíPokračovat »
Select PIECES of POETRY;
Extracted from the WORKS of the moft eminent
And calculated for the Ufe, not only of SCHOOLS, but
Corrected, improved, and enriched with the Addition of
Printed only for S. CROWDER, No. 12, Pater-Nofter-Row.
A proper Prefent for young GENTLEMEN and LADIES:
Selected from the beft English Writers, and arranged in the most natural Order;
With a View to infpire into the Minds of Youth the Love of Virtue, and the Principles of true Tafte and juft Reasoning
The SECOND EDITION.
London: Printed for S. Crowder, No. 12, Pater-nofter-Row.
The INVASION of JULIUS CÆSAR, To the Beginning of the YEAR 1780: Extracted from the most celebrated English Hiftorians,
* RAPIN, TINDAL, HUME, and SMOLLETT;
And calculated for the
Inftruction and Entertainment of the Youth of both Sexes. (Adorned with CUTS expreffive of the principal Events.)
THE THIRD EDITION, Corrected, Improved, and confiderably Enlarged. Hiftoria verò Teftis (eft) Temporum, Lux Veritatis, Vita Memoria Magifira Vita, Nuntia Vetuftatis.
Printed only for S. CROWDER, at No. 12, in Pater-noster-Row.
N confequence of the Promife I made in the Preface to the POLITE PRECEPTOR, I here take the Liberty of prefenting the Reader with a Col lection of Poetical Pieces, which, as far as I am. able to judge, is better calculated for the ufe of Schools, than any other Book of the kind that has yet been offered to the public. In forming this Collection, I had two objects principally in view. The firft was, to admit no piece that contained any fentiment or expreffion, inconfiftent either with the principles of morality, or the rules of delicacy, convinced as I am, and have always been, of the truth of the Roman Poet's obfervation, that the greatest reverence is due to a child, and that nothing should be exhibited to his view, or uttered in his hearing, that has the leaft tendency to vitiate his taste or corrupt his heart. But not only have I guarded against the infertion of any immoral or indecent pieces; a thing, that has not been fufficiently
ciently attended to by fome Editors of fimilar collections: I have done more; I have carefully endeavoured to felect fuch pieces as contained the most excellent precepts of morality, the strongest exhortations to virtue, and the most powerful diffuafives from vice; and for this purpose I had recourse to our dramatic poets, who, it is well known, chiefly abound in paffages of this kind.
My fecond object, and which I always confidered as fubordinate to the first, was to collect fuch pieces as, while they were either free from indecency and immorality, or exhibited patterns of the oppofite virtues, were, at the fame time, remarkable for the beauty or fublimity of the thought, the harmony of the numbers, or the elegance or vigour of the expreffion. In a word, my intention was to collect not the most beautiful pieces of English Poetry in general, but the most beautiful Pieces of English Poetry that were fit to be put into the hands of children; for between these there is a very material and obvious diftinction. I likewife made it a maxim to collect from as great a variety of Authors as poffible; partly with a view of bringing the young scholar acquainted with the names of the moft admired Poets of his country; partly in order to give him fome idea of their ftile and manner of writing, that fo he may be the better able to enter into their true fpirit and meaning, when he advances in years, and is qualified to read their works at large.
Pope in his preface to his original works fays, "That he would not be like thofe authors who forgive themselves fome particular lines for the fake of a whole poem, and vice verfa, a whole poem
for the fake of fome particular lines." But if this be inexcufable in compofing a whole poem or complete work, where the author's imagination may naturally be fuppofed fometimes to flag, it muft certainly be more fo in felecting detached paffages from the works of others, where the editor has no fancy or invention to exert, and has only to exercise his tafle and judgment. For this reafon it is, that I have never fcrupled to make the paffages fhort, provided the connection was not fo fuddenly broke off, as to render the fenfe obfcure; and this I have chiefly done with regard to paffages of a moral nature, where brevity is fo far from being a fault, that it may even be confidered as a particular recommendation. For, I think, it is a rule laid down by all critics, ancient and modern, that if precepts be clear, the fewer words they are expreffed in, fo much the better, because they will be fure, on that account, both to be the more eafily understood, and to be the longer remembered.
With respect to the propriety of accuftoming youth to the early reading of poetry, I have already, in fome meafure, expreffed my fentiments in the preface to the POLITE PRECEPTOR, where I have obferved, that it is the beft method of teaching them the true quantity and accent of words, without the knowledge of which no one can ever read even profe with a good grace. But this, however confiderable, is but one of the leaft advantages to be derived from the reading of poetry. For as the poets are, almoft to a man, friends to virtue, and as they have the art (and in this art confifts one of the chief circumftances that diftinguishes poetry from profe) of compreffing their thoughts