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

HORAT.

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

MDCCLXXIV

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F I may take the liberty of prefix

ing the name of a friend to a work which can pretend to little more than the merit of compilation, but which the indulgence of the public has conducted a second time 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 focial intercourse, of attention to public duties and cul

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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. Rasbotham is so well known and so justly admired, will, I am sure, be thought to stamp a peculiar propriety on my intentions.

ACCEPT, therefore, dear Sir, this testimony of regard, as proceeding from the fincereft sentiments of efteem and friendship of

Your most obedient,

and effectionate

bumble Servant,

WARRINGTON,
NOVEMBER 1, 1774.

JOHN AIKIN.

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

frequently joined them in lamenting that the number of excellent songs 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 poflefed. 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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