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TO THE MARCHIONESS OF HEADFORT,
PREFIXED TO THE TENTH NUMBER.
It is with a pleasure, not unmixed with melancholy, that I dedicate the last Number of the Irish Melodies to your Ladyship; nor can I have any doubt that the feelings with which you receive the tribute will be of the same mingled and saddened tone. To you, who, though but little beyond the season of childhood, when the earlier numbers of this work appeared, lent the aid of your beautiful voice, and, even then, exquisite feeling for music, to the happy circle who met, to sing them together, under your father's roof, the gratification, whatever it may be, which this humble offering brings, cannot be otherwise than darkened by the mournful reflection, how many of the voices, which then joined with ours, are now silent in death!
I am not without hope that, as far as regards the grace and spirit of the Melodies, you will find this closing portion of the work not unworthy of wha
has preceded it. The Sixteen Airs, of which the Number and the Supplement consists, have been selected from the immense mass of Irish music, which has been for years past accumulating in my hands; and it was from a desire to include all that appeared most worthy of preservation, that the four supplementary songs which follow this Tenth Number have been added.
Trusting that I may yet again, in remembrance of old times, hear our voices together in some of the harmonized airs of this Volume, I have the honour to subscribe myself,
Your Ladyship's faithful Friend and Servant,