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It is but fair to those who take an interest in this Work, to state that it is now very near its termination, and that the Sixth Number, which shall speedily appear, will, most probably, be the last of the series. Three Volumes will then have been completed, according to the original plan; and the Proprietors desire me to say that a List of Subscribers will be published with the concluding Number.
It is not so much from a want of materials, and still less from any abatement of zeal or industry, that we have adopted the resolution of bringing our task to a close ; but we feel so proud, for our country's sake and our own, of the interest which this purely Irish Work has excited, and so anxious lest a particle of that interest should be lost by any ill-judged protraction of its existence, that we think it wiser to take away
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the lip, while its flavour is yet, we trust, fresh and sweet, than to risk any longer trial of the charm, or give so much as not to leave some wish for more. In speaking thus I allude entirely to the Airs, which are, of course, the main attraction of these Volumes; and, though we have still many popular and delightful Melodies to produce,* yet it cannot be denied that we should soon experience some difficulty in equalling the richness and novelty of the earlier Numbers, for which, as we had the choice of all before us, we naturally selected only the most rare and beautiful. The Poetry too would be sure to sympathize with the decline of the Music; and,
; however feebly my words have kept pace with the excellence of the Airs, they would follow their falling off, I fear, with wonderful alacrity. So that, altogether, both pride and prudence counsel us to stop, while the Work is yet, we believe, flourishing and attractive, and, in the imperial
* Among these is S'avourna Deelish, which I have hitherto only withheld, from the diffidence I feel in treading upon the same ground with Mr. Campbell, whose beautiful words to this fine Air have taken too strong possession of all ears and hearts, for me to think of producing any impression after him. I suppose, however, I must attempt it for the next Namber.
attitude, stantes mori," before we incur the charge either of altering for the worse, ór, what is equally unpardonable, continuing too long the same.
We beg, however, to say, it is only in the event of our failing to find Airs as exquisite as most of those we have given, that we mean thus to anticipate the natural period of dissolution, like those Indians who put their relatives to death when they become feeble :--and they, who wish to retard this Euthanasia of the Irish Melodies, cannot better effect it than by contributing to our collection, not what are called curious Airs, for we have abundance of them, and they are, in general, only curious, but any really sweet and expressive Songs of our Country, which either chance or research inay have brought into their hands.
Mayfield Cottage, Ashbourne,