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Extracted from the WORKS of the most eminent
L. LYTTLETON, SWIFT,
of PRIVATE GENTLEMEN.
The SECOND EDITION;
many new Pieces.
A proper Present for young GENTL'EMEN and LADIES:
Just published, Price bound 35.
T H E
Of Entertaining and Instructive
the most natural Order; With a View to inspire into the Minds of Youth the Love of Virtue, and the Principles of true Taste and just Reasoning
The SECOND EDITION,
Also, Just published, Price 35. 68.
А сом Р Е ТЕ
HISTORY of ENGLAND,
QUESTION and ANSWER,
The INVASION of JULIUS CÆSAR,
.:. To the Beginning of the YEAR 1780: Extracted from the moft celebrated English Historians,
RAPIN, TINDAL, HUME, and SMOLLETT;
And calculated for the Inftruction and Entertainment of the Youth of both Sexes.
(Adorned with CUTS expressive of the principal Events.)
THE THIRD EDITION,
Corrected, Improved, and confiderably Enlarged. Hifaria verò Testis (eft) Temporum, Lux Veritatis, Vita Memoria Magiftra Vitæ, Nurtia Vetuftatis,
CICERO. Lo N D 0 N: Printed only for S. CROWDER, at No. 12, ia Pater-nofer-Row.
N confequence of the Promise I made in the
Preface to the POLITE PRECEPTOR, I here take the Liberty of presenting the Reader with a Col. lection of Poetical Pieces, which, as far as I am able to judge, is better calculated for the use 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 first was, to admit no piece that contained any sentiment or expresion, inconsistent 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 observation, 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 least tendency to vitiate his taste or corrupt his heart. But not only have I guarded against the insertion of any immoral or indecent pieces; a thing, that 'has not been fuffi
ciently attended to by some Editors of similar collections: I have done more; I have carefully endeavoured to select such pieces as contained the most excellent precepts of morality, the strongest exhortations to virtue, and the most powerful dilsuasives from vice; and for this purpose I had recourse to our dramatic poets, who, it is well known, chiefly abound in passages of this kind.
My second object, and which I always considered as subordinate to the first, was to collect such pieces as, while they were either free from indecency and immorality, or exhibited patterns of the opposite virtues, were, at the same time, remarkable for the beauty or sublimity of the thought, the harmony of the numbers, or the elegance or vigour of the expression. 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 distinction. I likewise made it a maxim to collect from as great a variety of Authors as possible ; partly with a view of bringing the young scholar acquainted with the names of the most admired Poets of his country; partly in order to give him some idea of their ftile and manner of writing, that so he may be the better able to enter into their true spirit and meaning, when he advances in years, and is qualified to read their works at large.
Pope in his preface to his original works says, « That he would not be like thofe authors who forgive themselves some particular lines for the sake of a whole poem, and vice versa, a whole poem
for the sake of some particular lines.” But if this be inexcusable in composing a whole poem or complete work, where the author's imagination may naturally be fupposed fometimes to fag, it must certainly be more fo in selecting detached pas. sages 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 reason it is, that I have never scrupled to make the palsages short, provided the connection was not fo • suddenly broke off, as to render the sense obscure ; and this I have chiefly done with regard to paffages of a moral nature, where brevity is so far from being a fault, that it may even be considered as a particular recommendation. For, I think, it is a sule laid down by all critics, ancient and modern, that if precepts be clear, the fewer words they are expressed 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 accustoming youth to the early reading of poetry, I have als ready, in some measure, expressed my sentiments in the preface to the POLITE PRECEPTOR, where I have observed, that ic is the best method of teaching them the true quantity and accent of words, without the knowledge of which no one can ever read even prose with a good grace. But this, however considerable, is but one of the least advantages to be derived from the reading of poetry. For as the poets are, almost to a man, friends to virtue, and as they have the art (and in this art consists one of the chief circumstances that diftin. guilhes poetry fron prose) of compresling their