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Then 8078 English-Hanford

26-33

2v.

I INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

It is an error, common to some who believe themselves lovers of Poetry, with many who disregard and, perhaps, despise it, that the purpose of this department of literature is merely to afford an elegant pastime, or to supply a pleasing but aimless excitement. This mistake, so fatal to the just influence of some of the noblest efforts of the human mind, we may expect to find prevailing in an age distinguished at once by the love of pleasure, and an eager devotion to the affairs of life. The delicate slaves of luxury, contented with the stimulus which animated verse applies to the imagination, and the edge it imparts to sensibility, willingly rest here in their appreciation of its worth: the enjoyment, and still more the application, of what lies beyond, demands an exertion of the higher faculties of the mind to which they are unaccustomed, and which they therefore decline with disgust. The active worldly man, on the other hand,

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