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my intention that the generality of readers should know in what places alterations are made, as I do not wish them to refer to the originals : But I thought that I had been sufficiently explicit to let them understand, that I considered myself as wholly and solely responsible for the sentiments contained in the songs which I published, and that nothing should be attributed to the original author, whose name the song may bear, without a particular reference to it in his own works. Yet, notwithstanding this, I have, in many cases, where the alterations have been great, or what I conceived might be variations from the serious and deliberate sentiments of the authors, stated that the piece was altered, as in the alteration of Pope's Universal prayer, vol. ii. p. 414. Also the alteration of the song “ Away, let nought to love displeasing," where it is specified that it is altered, and the last four lines are put between brackets with my own signature. One thing I had certainly omitted to say, namely that The Titles of the Songs are frequently an addition of my own; but songs, where a title has not been originally given by the author, are met with, in different collections, by such different titles, that I did not consider this circumstance as necessary to be stated. The custom
of altering the works of authors appeared to me to be so established in the vocal and dramatic world that it was sufficiently understood and acknowledged ; and, as my alterations had in view the cause of Religion and Morality, I trusted that this superior object would secure to the Collection an indulgence beyond that dhe to mere compilation.
It is with great pleasure that I make my acknowledgments to Mr. Dibdin for his permission to insert some of his Songs in this Volume. Having given, in my former volumes, all those, suitable to my purpose, which have become public property, I mentioned my intended publication to Mr. Dibdin, and expressed my wish to insert some of his Songs ; not because I was in want of numbers wherewith to fill my volume, but as thinking many of his better than those of other authors, and wishing, as far as possible, that we should go hand in hand in our Vocal Exertions. In a Letter, dated January the 29th, he says, “ I consider every thing of that kind from you as a band. some and friendly compliment, and it would be strange, and very unlike the kindness and good wishes I really feel, to throw any rub in the way of what you meditate, both as a good will to me, and a considerate attention to my repu
tation."" The Songs you mention"_" and any others you may think proper,"_" I beg you will publish without ceremony, and if in any other way I can be of use to your work, it will give me particular pleasure.
The distresses which Mr. Dibdin has suffered within the last two years are but too well known to the public. May the close of bis life be without farther clouds of sickness or sorrow; or,
if it shall please Providence to give him farther trials, may the issue of them be unfading happiness in a world where sickness and sorrow have no place!
Of the Songs in this volume bearing my own signature, as well as some others given in the Table of Contents as Original, several have already appeared in The Vocal Repository; of which an account is given in the List of Works by the Author at the end of this Volume. But, as that work is intended for circulation amongst the lowest classes, I thought I might with propriety give them as original to the readers for wbom this Volume is intended ; none of them having been given in my former Collection of Songs in three Volumes. They have all been revised, and some have received very material corrections. I shall not otherwise apologize for having inserted them, than
by saying, that the insertion of my own Songs appears to me in the same light as the writing the volume itself. To the name of Poet, taken in its highest sense, as including brilliant and forcible imagination and highly polished and ornamented diction, I do not aspire. My aim has been to give good sentiments in the best language which existing circumstances would admit, not always having leisure for the finishing labour of correction and polish. If I can obtain a Sprig of Bay from the garden of the Cottager, or of Laurel from the Shrubbery of the Moralist and Philanthropist, my aim is answered.
With the consciousness of having intended well in this work, I submit it with confidence, yet I trust without arrogance, to that public who must decide upon its merits.
CLARE HALL, April 16, 1811.
ERRATA. Page line 15 15 before have insert fer. 37 5 from bottom, after prospect for the comma put a
semicolon, 45 18 for Cooper's read Cowper's. 84 3 from bot. for HALLOWAY read HOLLOWAY. 111 last line, for who read she. 120 7 from bottom, for Whom read Who. 158 10 before Virtue put dues. 202 8 after aright put a full stop. 231 13 for it it read it is. 277 2 before those put chiefly. 350 19 after court put her. 388
2 from bottom, after flower add a comma.