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P R E F A C E.
'HOUGH it must be confessed that the
Public are in poffesfion of a great variety of useful Collections, calculated to furnish young persons with exercises in reading and Speaking; yet there seems to be wanting a further selection for the particular use of Young Ladies. To effect this desirable object, and to enable them, under proper instructions, to acquire the valuable and pleasing accomplishment of reading with propriety and elegance, by having the choice of a suitable variety for the purpose, Mr. CRESWICK, the compiler of this Collection, has felected a series of Ef
says, Narratives, Dialogues, Letters, and other compositions which approach the nearest to the language of easy and elegant conversation; and upon such topics as may be most materially interesting to the Fair Sex; carefully excluding every thought or expression which may, in the smallest degree, be injurious to the purity of their morals; together with an elegant and considerable variety of Poetical Compositions. The whole with a view to aslist them in varying their mode of reading and speaking; and to furnish their minds with a fund of innocent, pleasing, and ufeful ideas.
The relative duties of daughter, wife, mother, friend, and valuable member of society, are forcibly inculcated in this Selection, and submitted to the careful perufal and attention of the Female Reader, the encouragement of parents and governesses, and the approbation of the public.
With regard to the Poetry in this Selection, it has been observed by perfons of taste and judgment, that those who are accustomed to
read only one species of poetry, frequently contract a monotonous and disagreeable tone, or a disike to all other kinds of poetry. It is owing to this, that many poetical compositions are either overlooked, or read with such diffidence and impropriety, that the hearer is disgusted, the reader disregarded, and the sense destroyed. To remedy this defect, a collection of various kinds of poetry appears the most probable plan; and is accordingly adopted by the Editor of this Work, carefully omitting the insertion of pieces which are to be met with in other Collections of this kind; except in a very few instances.
Novelty generally gains attention, and attention disposes to diligence.
The many excellent theoretical instructions already extant, precludes the necessity of expatiating on that subject in this Work, especially as it is generally acknowledged, that practice, under the direction of an experienced Tutor, capable of enforcing precept by just example, is of much greater efficacy than a
multiplicity of rules without the assistance of such a Tutor, in whom greater abilities are requisite than is generally imagined.
As this Selection has the allurement of much variety, it is hoped that the Female part of the community will receive both advantage and pleasure from it, every part of it recommending some virtue to their imitation, or giving a pleasing appearance to fome amiable disposition of the heart.