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Auntient Lere,

CONTAINING A SELECTION OF

APHORISTICAL AND PRECEPTIVE PASSAGES

ON

Interesting and Important Subjects,

FROM THE WORKS OF

EMINENT ENGLISH AUTHORS,

OF THE
SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES ;

WITH A

PREFACE AND REMARKS.

Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears
Bright through the rubbish of some hundred years,
Command old words that long have slept to wake,
Words that wise Bacon, or brave RALEGH spake.

Pope.

LONDON:
Printed by J. Barfield, Wardour-Street;

FOR

LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN.

PATERNOSTER-ROW; RODWELL, NEW BOND-
STREET; SETCHELL, KING-STREET, COVENT-
GARDEN; AND GREENLAND, FINSBURY-PLACE.

· 1812.

120 FEB 1263

PREFACE.

“ THERE is in the ancient language of our “country, a spirit of quaint and curious simpli“ city, which allows the finest combination of “ vigorous thought and harmonious expression.”

Dramatic Review.

· IT has been remarked, by several modern writers, that, at a

time when our language is thought to have attained the highest pitch of refinement and perfection, it has lost, in a very material degree, that solidity, and energy, which gave such force and strength of expression to the compositions of our best ancient authors. It will, perhaps, be too much, to say that the innovations and fancied improvements introduced of late years, have rendered our tongue incapable of these good requisites; it is, however, certain, that as the too free indulgence in piquant foreign sauces and liqueurs will weaken and enervate the bodily functions of Englishmen, so the incautious introduction of exotic phrases and words, is likely to render our language at once feeble, and uselessly redundant.

The writers of the present day seem to have adopted a plan altogether different from that of their ancestors : it was customary with the latter, to give as great a quantity of sense in as few words as possible, and herein they had the advantage of their neighbours; whence that fine metaphor of Lord Roscommon,,

For who did ever in French authors see
The comprehensive English energy?
The weighty bullion of one sterling line,
Drawn in French wire, would through whole pages shine.

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