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Nec, fi quid olim lusit Anacreon
Delevit ætas ; spirat adhuc amor,
Vivuntque commisli calores
Æoliæ fidibus puellæ,

HORAT.

W ARRINGTON:

Printed by WILLIAM EXR ES,

FOR

JOSEPH JOHNSON, No. 72, St. Paul's Church -Yard, LONDON,

MDCCLXXIV.

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DORNING RASBOTHAM, Esq.

OF BIRCH HOUSE, NEAR BOLTON,

LA N c A S H I RE.

DEAR SIR,

I
F I may take the liberty of prefix-

ing the name of a friend to a work which cáti preterid to little more than the merit of cesipilation, but which the indulgence of the public has conducted a second tine to the press, there are many reasons why I should desire to pay this tribute of respect to you.

EXCLUSIVE of the instances of regard with which

you

have honoured me; that happy combination of elegant retirement and social intercourse, of attention to public duties and cul

tivation

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tivation of the fine arts, and, particularly, that refined taste for the beauties of poetry, and that talent for producing those beauties, for all which Mr. Ralbotham is so well known and fo justly admired, will, I am sure, be thought to stamp a peculiar propriéty a hymentions.

Acceet, therefore, dear Sir, this testimony of :regard; as proceeding from the fincereft fentiments of efteem and friendship of

Your most obedient,

and affectionate

bumble Servant,

WARRINGTON,
NOVEMBER 1, 1774.

JOHN AIKIN.

P R E F A C E.

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N converfing with a few of my friends who were lovers of poetry, I have

frequently joined them in lamenting that the number of excellent fongs which our language afforded, were so dispersed through a variety of authors, or overwhelmed in injudicious colle&tions, that it was a most difficult matter to discover and enjoy the riches of this kind which we podeled. We observed that every collection of songs, without exception, was degraded by dullness, or debased by indecency; and that song-writing scarcely seemed in any of them to be considered as a pleasing Species of poetical composition, but merely as

serving

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