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TO THE READER.
A Volume like the present, containing a liberal and choice selection from the mass of elegant compliments and gallant jeux-d'esprit, which have issued from the pens of the Wits and Poets of past and present times, can hardly fail, it is presumed, of being an acceptable present to all those of the one sex, who feel, as they ought to do, the power of Beauty, and of the other, who are conscious of possessing it.
The execution of such a pleasing task as the collecting together, from all accessible
stores, those brilliant gems which sparkle with the genuine radiance of feeling and gallantry, although necessarily involving considerable research, as the reader will easily perceive, by a reference to many of the sources from which they are derived, can hardly be reckoned among those laborious works, which plead for favour in proportion to the tedious and wearisome nature of the toil which produces them. The Editor, however, feels that he is entitled to some portion of praise, for the attempt which he has made, if not for the manner in which he has performed it; and he can hardly anticipate that any of his fair readers, or of their humble admirers, in whose immediate service he has enlisted himself, should be so hypercritical and ungrateful as to withhold from him his due meed, from an opinion that he might have performed his task in a manner more suited
to their own peculiar tastes. Indeed, he is convinced, that the spirit of chivalry still burns so brightly in the bosoms of his countrymen, that they will not, with the cold breath of criticism, wither the Garland which he has woven to adorn the shrine of Beauty.
1. Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh. . page
Maria Louisa. .. .. .. . ..