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'o B3- y % 'vop,' %xsv, v6v6- 3' i;yy w£λιι. Eurip.

Siquis Deus mihi largiatur, ut ex hac ætate repuerafcam, & in cunis vagiam, valde recufem. Cic. de Sene&t.

The bew AiL 1 N G of MAN's MisE R iE s hath been elegantly and copioufly fet forth by many, in the writings as well of philofophers, as of divines. And it is both a pleaiant and a profitable contemplation.

Lord Bacon's Advancement of Learning.

VoL. II. A P R E

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It is hard for a man to fpeak of himfelf with any tolerable fatisfaétion or fuccefs : he can be no more pleafed in blaming himfelf, than in reading a fatyr made on him by another : and though he may juftly defire, that a friend fhould praife him ; yet, if he makes his own panegyrick, he will get very few to read it. It is harder for him to fpeak of his own writings. An author is in the condition of a Culprit: the public are his judges : by allowing too much, - and condefcending too far, he may injure his own caufe, and become a kind of FELo DE SE ; and by pleading and afferting too boldly, he may difpleafe the court that fits upon him : his apology may only heighten his accufation. I would avoid thofe extremes ; and though, I grant, it vwould not be very civil to trouble the raader yith a long preface, before he enters upon an A 2 indifferent

indifferent poem ; I would fay fomething to

perfuade him to take it as it is, or to excufe it .

for not being better. The noble images and refieétions, the profound ré afonings upon human aétions, and excellent precepts for the government of life, which are found in the Proverbs, Ecclefiaftes, and other books, commonly attributed to Solomon, afford fubjeéts for finer poems in every kind, than have, i think, yet appeared in the Greek, Latin, or any modern language : how far they were verfe in their original, is a differtation not to be entered into at prcfent. - Out of this great treafure, which-lies heaped up together, in a confufed magnificence, above all order, I had a mind to collcét and digeft fuch obfervations, and apothegms, as moff particularly tend to the proof of that great affertion, laid down in the beginning of the Ecclefiaftes, ** ALL •• Is v AN ITY ! Upon ths fubje&t thus chofen, fuch various images prefent themfeivcs to a writer's mind, that he muft find it eafier to judge, what {hou'd bc reje&ed, than what ought to be receivcd. The difhculty lies in drawing and difpofing; or (as painters term it) in grouping fuch a multitude of different obje&ts, preferving ftill the juftice - and

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