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HAVING dedicated the First fruits of my Labours* to you, which (trifling as they were) derived great Advantages from the addition of your Name; I am now prompted by grateful recollections to make you an Offering more worthy your Patronage, as several of the Poems in this Selection have been stamped with the Approbation of Men of Taste and Judgment. I can claim no other Merit than to have sedulously rejected such Poems as
• Observations on Angling
would have tinged the Cheek of Modesty with a Blush, or have been detrimental to the Cause of Virtue and Morality.
To make this Offering of greater Consequence, you will permit me to observe, that the Poems contained in these Volumes were all transcribed from a variety of Periodical Publications, and other Sources, as a rational Amusement, and Relaxation from more important Duties; that these Duties were productive of long and unavoidable Interruptions, and when the few Advantages I have had in the Collection are considered, having had neither Access to large Libraries, or Acquaintance with great Men, I trust the Undertaking will in some degree rescue my Character from that of an Idler, which few escape who are fond of Field Amusements.
The scattered Poems, marked with my Initials, claim your Indulgence; as most of them are Imitations of the Measure of other Poems which have invariably charmed me.