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FROM THE

BRITISH POETS:

BEING

A POCKET DICTIONARY

OF THEIR

MOST ADMIRED PASSAGES.

THE WHOLE ALPABETICALLY ARRANGED

ACCORDING TO THE SUBJECTS.

PHILADELPHIA:
R. W. POMEROY, FIFTH, BELOW WALNUT ST.

KPC 1361

HARVARD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY FEB 29 1956

53*136

PREFACE.

ALTHOUGH the title of this work sufficiently explains its object, we may be permitted to say, that we conceive its plan has novelty enough to exempt it from the charge of being a downright redundancy, in a market already pretty well stocked. Although the art of clipping eut books, and cabbaging thoughts, has now arrived at great perfection, we yet consider a Dictionary of Detached Passages, from the inexhaustible treasury of the British Poets, as somewhat of a new clip, and that we are consequently entitled to the same privilege which every ingenious tailor enjoys on a similar occasion. We do not mean to puff, but we hereby challenge any bookseller, to show us half as much good poetry (always excepting his own publications,) in any work three times the size and three times the price; we therefore heartily recommend this Dictionary as the best pennyworth of poetry now extant.

We have only further to observe, that nothing has been admitted, which has a tendency to offend decency or injure morality; and we have been fully as studious to

select those passages which convey some solid instruction, as those that are merely addressed to the fancy. Indeed, he must know little of the vigorous nerve and intellectual grasp of our great English poets, who is not aware that, while they throw " the drapery of a moral imagination over our poor shivering nature,” they have sung as inany great truths as others have said, and with a felicity and energy peculiar to themselves. In our selections, we have paid more attention to the sterling character of the poetry than to the triteness of the quotation; our squeamish reader must not, therefore, turn away, if he should meet “ The curfew tolls,To be or not to be,” and many more of his school companions.

These Quotations may, then, with perfect safety, and some profit, be put into the hands of our youth: they may even refresh the memory of the old; and they may, perhaps, be not altogether unprofitable to those inisses and misters, who, smit with the love of song and their own pretty fancies, mistake the fury of a diseased appetite for the flame of genius, and plunge incontinently into a sea of ink, where, after floundering about, and making the most indecent exposures, they either sink outright, or are rescued by the humane efforts of their friends, and restored to the rank of sober citizens.

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