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How often have I pausid on every charm--« The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, “ The never-failing brook, the busy mill, “ The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill.”

Deserted Village, p. 41.

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TO

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.

men.

DEAR SIR, I CAN have no expe&lations 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 faid to excel; and I may lose much by the severity of your judgment, as few have a juster taste in Poetry than you. Setting interest therefore afde, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affections. The only Dedication I ever made, was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other

He is fince dead— Permit me to infcribe this poem to you. How far you may be pleased with the verfification and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I do not pretend to enquire; but I know you will object (and indeed several of our best and wiser 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 poffible 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 enquiries have led me to believe those mi series real, which I here attempt to display. But this is the place to enter into an enquiry whether the country be depopulating or not : the discusson would take up much room, and I should prove myself, at beft, an indifferent politician, to tire the reader with a long preface, when I want his unfatigued attention to a long Poem.

In regretting the depopulation of the country, I inveigh against the increase of our luxuries; and here also I expect the shout of modern politicians against me. For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the fashion to consider luxury as one of the great 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 flates, by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed, so much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question, that, merely for the sake of novelty and variety, one would sometimes wijk to be in the right.

I am, dear Sir,

Your fincere friend, and ardent admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

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