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To Mrs. EMMA CHILD, Daughter of the Honourable Sir Richard Child, of Wansted, Baronet, and Knight of the Shire for the County of Essex.
To Mrs. SUSANNA CHILD,
To Mrs. ANNE CHILD,
To Mrs. ELIZABETH HILLERSDON, Daughter of William Hillersdon, Efq; Knight of the Shite for the County of Bedford.
To Mrs. ELIZABETH GODFREY, Daughter of Peter Godfrey Er; Member of Parlament for the City of London.
To Mrs. ANNE PERRY, Daughter of Mr. Richard Perry, of London, Mer: chant.
To Mrs. ANNE MILNER, Daughter of the late Mr. Ifaac Milper, of Lone don, Merchant.
To Mrs. ELIZABETH LINGARD, Daughter of John Lingard, Esq; one of the Judges of the Sheriffs-Court.
To Mrs. JUDITH BUTLER, Daughter of Mr. James Butler, of Camberwell, Merchant.
be judged no improper Present. The Virgin Muse Alies therefore to you, Ladies, begging the Protection of your Virtue and Innocence ; which, A.
if you shall be pleased to grant; being so Armed, She may securely appear abroad. For, what Armour can be brighter or stronger than Virtue? or what fafer than Innocence ?
I shall not undertake to represent so great a Variety of Graces and Accomplishments that are now shining, and increasmg in you; I refer myself to the ingenious Pen of your Firvourite Mufe in the following * Copy; which I hope will be taken for no Compliment, but a Propherick Description of eacă of your Growing Virtues.
May you so daily improve in every Good and Commendable Qualification, that, if each Contending Muse of the Nine should single out her Lady to en ploy their several Excellencies on, they may make choice of your Virtues for their Subject, and your Persons for their Seat and Residence.
I am, LADIES,
Your most humble Servant,
* The Virgin, po do
Shall make 10. Apologies for the following Underi taking i and if it be found opeful and Entera
taining; it will med nom. A Book of rbishing has certainly been wanted, fince you will hardly find arry Coletion of Poems, thu you can predmety put into the Hands of the Youth of titber Sex : For Bota ipill meet with something that is either Shocking to Good Manners, Difficult to be Underhood, or very Trifling and Silly, I have therefore had great Rom gard to introdace nothing here, but what is ftrichly Modest, and truly Poetical, and its for the difficult Places, they are made very edhe und intelligible, by the Help of Notes, and a Large Index, explaining every hard Word. I have endeavoured to make it 4 compleat Book for the Teaching to Read Poetry:
The Poems consisting of Verses of different Meafurešu ©
you have all the chief sorts of English Verlification. Tipo Objections are likely to be started : 'The one rise That fome things may seem Sofi and Youthful. to that ; the Poems are dejigried for Youth, whose Age midt urally requires mbat is Chearful and Pleafant, and must have Entertainments and Annulements given them in their own way; provided they be Innocent, and Mannerly. For, after all, (let
Perfons, who have forgot that they were Young, say iphat they will to the contrary) there are a great many Allowances to be made to young People, purely because they are Young ; and if I was to have inserted nothing here but what is very Grave, they would soon dislike this innocent Food, and apply themselves to worse Diet. The other objection, likely to be made, is, That I have put in several Poems of Mr. Milton's, which fome will
fancy to be above the Capacity of the younger Reader. But, as I have ordered Matters with a view to every Age and Capacity, so there will be nothing (the Index being consulted) but what will become very plain to one Age or other. For as there is a variety of Poetical Dishes, let every one chufe, or let it be chosen for him, mobat Difh is like to fit easiest with him. As to the Poems in this Colle&tion that were never published before, as namely, that in Page the 51st, being the Translation of Mr. Cowley's Epitaph on himself, it was done by Mr. Sellwood, of Cambridge. That in Page the 95th, Written in a Lady's Waller ; and that against Scandal, Page 104, were given by an ingenious Friend,
pho will not suffer bis Name to be known; not that he need be ashamed of them ; but the Reafon, I believe, is, because he is fome years older now than when he made them. 'The Love Verses, and that one a Lady's killing her Lap-Dog, were inferted at the Request of a Friend of the Author's, with an Injunction to conceal his Name. In the Love Verses there are several Tirns that dectare a true Poetical Genius, and therefore stand not in need of any Recommendation. If I find that what I have here done, meets with the Approbation of the Sober and Judicious, it will encourage me to present the Reader with a Set of Reading-Books, beginning even with the first Elements.
IV. On my Lady Jabella playing on the Flute,
VI. Imitation of Martial, L. 5. Ep. 21. Com-
ley, p. 6.