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Before I conclude, I would say something in favour of the old-fashioned triplet, which I have here ventured to use so often. Dryden seems to have delighted in it, and in many of his poems has used it much oftener than I have done, as for instance in the Hind and Panther, and in Theodore and Honoria, where he introduces it three, four, and even five times in succession.

If I have erred any where in the structure of my verse from a desire to follow yet earlier and higher examples, I rely on the forgiveness of those in whose ear the music of our old versification is still sounding.t

* Pope used to mention this poem as the most correct specimen of Dryden's versification. It was indeed written when he had completely formed his manner, and may be supposed to exhibit, negligence excepted, his deliberate and ultiinate scheme of metre.-JOHNSON.

With regard to trisyllables, as their accent is very rarely on the last, they cannot properly be any rhymes at all: yet nevertheless I highly commend those, who have judiciously and sparingly introduced them, as such.-GRAY.

AN

EPISTLE TO A FRIEND. .

1798.

Villula,

et pauper agelle, Me libi, et hos unà mecum, quos semper amavi, Commendo.

THE ARGUMENT.

An invitationThe approach to a Villa describedIts situation

Its few apartments-Furnished with casts from the Antique, g-c. - The dining-room--The library- A cold-bath-A winter-wall - A summer-walk-The invitation renewed— Conclusion,

PREFACE.

Every reader turns with pleasure to those passages of Horace, and Pope, and Boileau, which describe how they lived and where they dwelt ; and which, being interspersed among their satirical writings, derive a secret and irresistible grace from the contrast, and are admirable examples of what in Painting is termed repose.

We have admittance to Horace at all hours. We enjoy the company and conversation at his table; and his suppers, like Plato's, “ non solum in præsentia, sed etiam postero die jucundæ sunt.” But, when we look round as we sit there, we find ourselves in a Sabine farm, and not in a Roman villa. His windows have

charm of prospect; but his furniture might have descended from Cincinnatus; and gems, and pictures, and old marbles, are mentioned by him more than once with a seeming indifference.

His English Imitator thought and felt perhaps, more correctly on the subject; and embellished his garden

every charm of

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