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TO JOHN FLAXMAN, ESQ. R.A.
Τα αγαλματα της παλαιας τεχνης, α χρονα δειται εις το θαυμασαι και οφθαλμων
Themistius, Orat. de Amicitia.
By WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esq.
Printed by A. Strahan, Printers Street;
MR. FLAXMA N.
Receive, my dear friend, with your usual kindness, the long-suspended Work, of which I had the pleasure of repeating to you a few verses (as a joyous salute) on your safe arrival from Rome in the year 1794. I then hoped to render it a more early and a more chearful tribute to your improved talents, and to our long friendship. My production is not fuch as I intended; yet I trust, in its present state, it is not utterly unworthy of your acceptance, or of that favour which every warm heart must be inclined to hope its endeavours to celebrate the genius of a friend may receive from the public.
You know but too well what impediments of anxiety and affliction have thwarted, for years, the progress of a performance that the honest pride of friendship would have zealously laboured to make more worthy of the artist to whom it is inscribed. I am yet willing to think that affliction (so often useful in life) may have had some sort of beneficial influence on this composition :
Sunt lacrymæ rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt.
As much as my Work has lost, in knowledge and refinement, by the severe trouble, that interrupted and changed its course, it may have gained, perhaps, in nature and pathos. I could hardly convert the sufferings of your dear disciple to a use more noble, than that of making them instrumental, in any degree, to the reputation of such an instructor.
When I began the Poem, I intended that it Thould comprize a sketch of modern as well as ancient art: but