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INTRODUCTION.

As, in early life, to collect valuable stores of knowledge, and to treasure up wise observations, often prove the source of wealth and honour; the design of this publication is, by these means, not only to excite in youth a desire for literary pursuits, but earnestly to recommend the cultivation of those virtuous affections, and of that refined taste for the only true pleasures of life, which cannot fail to secure to them the respect and esteem of every friend to rising merit. Nor has the Compiler the least doubt, that those who honour these volumes with an attentive perusal, will be imperceptibly led to acquire the most useful and valuable attainments; for as there is, in most young people, a disposition to imitate whatever they admire, great care has been taken to introduce into the work those productions only, which have received the stamp of general approbation.

Ye smiling band
Of youths and virgins, who thro' all the maze
Of young desire, with rival steps pursue
The varied form of pleasure; hither turn
Your favourable ear and trust my words.

B

'Tis but instruction all! our parents hand
Writes in our hearts the first faint characters,
Which time retracing deepens into strength,
That nothing can efface but death or heav'n.

Now whether we are designed to become candidates for public favour, or the more peaceful enjoyments of private life, we are equally bound to cultivate our understandings; that we may know, and feel, the blessing of steady principles, industrious habits, and universal philanthropy; for on these depend the prosperity and happiness of every member of the community.

Ye parents wise,
Who fain would see your much-loy'd issue grac'd
With virtue's sacred wreath, O fill betimes
The vacant breast of youth with wisdom's laws,
The love of justice, honour, truth, and heav'n!
So shall the springing weeds of vice decay,
Nor find a place to flourish in; so shall
Their years mature your providence repay
With duty, gratitude, and filial love;
And when, thro' feeble age, the gay delights
Of life shall cease, their virtues shall reflect
Comfort and honour on your life's decline.

The following lines are beautifully expressive of the warm sensations of gratitude, on entering an extensive and well arranged Library.

Here the best thoughts to learning's.charms inclind,
Will stamp devotion on the inquiring mind.

Who uninspir'd can tread this sacred ground
With all the sons of fame encompass'd round;
Where, crown'd with wreaths of ever verdant bays,
Each sister art her willing charms displays.,

Whilst thus within these learned walls we stray,
At once all clines and ages we survey;
On fancy's wings we fly from shore to shore,
Recal past time, and live whole æras o'er,
Converse with heroes, fam'd in ancient song,
And bards, by whom those heroes breathe so long..

'Tis here that, guided by the Muse's fire,
And filld with sacred thoughts her friends retire,
Unbent to care, and unconcern'd with noise,
To taste repose and elevated joys.

Hail then, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!
Whose songs, subliinely sweet, serenely gay,
Amus'd my childhood, and inform’d my youth.
O let your spirit still my bosom sooth,
Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings guide !
Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth;
For well I know, where-ever ye preside,
There harmony, and peace, and innocence, abide.

Let us, therefore, my young friends, do honour to their memory by following the advice and example of Mr. Locke, who in his “ Essay concerning Human Understanding," recommends selecting, in the course of our studies, those passages, whether historical narrations, or poetical beauties, that are most attractive.

Mr. Rogers endeavours likewise, in his “ Pleasures of Memory,” to inspire us with a love of learning.

Selected authors claim thy studious hours;
There shall thy ranging mind be fed on flow'rs!
There, while the shaded lamp's mild lustre streams,
Read ancient books, or woo inspiring dreams;
And, when a sage's bust arrests thee there,
Pause, and his features with his thoughts compare.

- Ah, most that art my grateful rapture calls,
Which breathes a soul into the silent walls ;
Which gathers round the wise of ev'ry tongue,
All on whose words departed nations hung ;
Still proinpt to charm with many a converse sweet;
Guides in the world, companions in retreat.

And Dr Johnson, ever earnest in directing youth to the noblest and most valuable acquirements, says, “ Precepts, when contracted into sentences, strike the affections of youth, and consequently are more easily retained; and a few useful ones, at hand, do more towards a virtuous life, than whole volumes of cautions, that we know not where immediately to find."

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