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DISPOSED TÙ DER PROPER LEADS',
Hac Studia (dolescentiam ahunt, Senectutem oblectant; secundas, res
:-1: 531247-2011 P R E F
E F A A'
HE charms of Poetry have been felt by mankind in all ages.
So highly were the ancients enamoured of this art, that with them the Poet was a sacred character; and they spake of the Muses as the offspring of Jupiter himself.
And aš the pleasure derived from Poetry is founded on that sense of fublimity, beauty, and harmony, which is natural to the mind of man, it will always meet with admirers, while, in the words of one of the elegant authors of The Guardian, it can meet with “ a heart tender and
generous, a heart that can swell with the joys, or be depressed with " the inisfortunes of others; a heart large enough to receive the
greatest ideas nature can suggest, and delicate enough to relish the “ most beautiful; that is capable of entering into all those subtle
graces, and all that divine elegance, the enjoyment of which is to be “ felt only, and not expressed."
To young minds especially, whose susceptibility is not destroyed, and who are alive to the pleasing impressions of nature and fancy, it yields a charming repast, while (to cite the same author again) « it leads them “ihrough flowery meadows or beautiful gardens, refreshes them with
cooling breezes or delicious fruits, soothes them with the murmur of " waters or the melody of birds; or else conveys them to the court and “camp, dazzles their imagination with crowns and sceptres, embattled " hosts, or heroes shining in burnished steel.”
It would, therefore, be allowable to encourage a taste for Poetry in young persons, were it only capable of affording them these innocent delights.
But Poetry may be successfully employed as the vehicle of instruction, as well as pleasure.
From the earliest periods its language has been made use of, not only in describing the beauties of nature, the pleasures of innocence, and the emotions of love, but in exciting to virtuous and heroic actions, and in conveying historical, political, and religious instruction. And it has often been found a successful instrument in fixing impressions on young minds, when precepts dressed in a less alluring form could not engage their attention.
It is to an acquaintance with the Muses, likewise, that most of those characters who have attained to any considerable eminence in polite literature, have acknowledged themselves chiefly indebted for the graces and recommendations of fine writing; for liveliness and strength of A 2