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London:
PRINTED FOR R. HUNTER (successor to J. JOHNSON),

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD;
AND BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY,

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

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PREFACE.

EXPERIENCE has convinced the author of the following pages, that children seldom understand the poetry which they early learn by rote, and that thus, instead of forming a poetic taste, they acquire the habit of repeating words to which they affix no distinct ideas, or of admiring melodious sounds which are

to them destitute of meaning.

The pleasure that we receive from the remote allusions or, metaphoric language of poetry depends, in a great degree, upon the rapidity with which we pass over a number of intermediate ideas, and seize the meaning of the author; but children find much difficulty in supplying the elisions of poetic thought and diction. It is to them a laborious process; and even when they perform it successfully, much of the pleasure escapes during the operation. Surely it is doing young people injustice, to force fine poetry upon them before they can possibly taste its excellence;

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