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TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.

JLAR SIR,

I can have no expectations in an address of this kind, either to add to your reputation, or to establish my own. You can gain nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel: and I may loose much by the severity of your judg. ment, as few have a juster taste in poetry than you. Setting interest therefore aside, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in fol. lowing my affections. The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this poem to you.

How far you may be pleased with the versification and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I do not pretend to inquire: but I know you wili object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur in the opinion) that the depopulation it deplores is no where to be seen, and the disorders it laments are only to be found in the poet's own imagination. To this I can scarce make any other answer than that I sincerely believe what I have written; that I have taken all possible pains, in my country excursions, for these four or five years past, to be certain of what

:

I alledge ; and that all my views and inquiries have led me to believe those miseries real, which I here attempt to display. But this is not the place to en. ter into an enquiry, wether the country be depopu« lating, or not; the discussion would take up much room; and I should prove myself, at best, an indiffe erent politician, to tire the reader with a long preface when I want this unfatigued attention to a long po.

em.

me.

In regretting the depopulation of the country, I en veigh against the increase of our luxuries; and here also I expect the shout of modern politicians against

For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the fasbion to consider luxury as one of the greatest national advantages ; and all the wisdom of antiquity, in that particular, as erroneous, Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head ; and continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed so much bas been poured out of late on the other side of the ques. tion, that, merely for the sake of novelty and variety, one would sometimes wish to be in the right,

I am,

Dear sir,
your sincere friend,
and ardent admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

THE DESERTED VILLAGE.

SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the laboring

swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's liug’riog blooms delay'd; Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, Seats of my youth, when every sport could

please; How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene ! How often have I paus’d on every charm, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, The never failing brook, the busy mill, Tbe decent church that topt the neighb'ring hill; The bawthorn bush, with seats beneath the

shade, For talking age and whispering lovers made ! How often have I bless'd the coming day, When toil remitting leut its turn to play, And all the village train, from labor free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree ! While many a pastime circled in the shade, The young contending as the old survey'd; And many a gambol frolic'd o'er the ground, And sleights of art and feats of strength went

round;

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