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dear particularly to your Grace, for being the birth-place of a great Princefs, whose eminent virtues adorn the throne of these realms, and. captivate the affections of a brave and loyal people. They contain the out-lines of courts not unworthy of your curiofity ; where, amidst all the splendid embellishments of society, truth, honour, and sincerity, are fill the prevailing principles of a numerous and ancient nobility. And here a way fairly opens itself before me, to draw a parallel between the august theatre where your Grace acts fo thining a part, and those foreign courts, whose characters I have been so happy as to observe and admire. But the task is too arduous. Were I to attempt to defcribe the ornaments of the British court, I might place your Grace in the
foremost rank, and expatiate on the paft glories of your renowned ancesa tors, whose virtues, as well as large poffeffions, you happily inherit:o Il might endeavours to paint those conjugal perfections, which endear you to your truly, noble, and generous confort, and render you a complete model of domestic felicity: I might extol your splendor and magnificence, by which you support the dignity and name of the Great Pergies: I might delineate your goodness, your affability, your generosity, your
1 But the consideration of your , delicacy stops. my pen; and Lam apprehensive of offending, when I only mean to court your patronage. My ambition is satisfied; the ambi, tion of sheltering these papers under your auspicious name, and of being :
permitted, thus publicly, to 'declare the profound veneration and efteem with which I have the honour to fubfcribe myself, 1997 ?nc:1:
. it is in
-17 blir YOUR GRACE's 1.1110 blitt for? Aron 10
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to the lowing letters were committed
to the press, exactly in their native fimplicity. This, perhaps, has occafioned a few repetitions, and a recital of particulars, which may appear uninteresting to some readers. The author, however, on submitting them to public view, did not chuse to make any alteration in their dress: this would have too much the appearance of art; and letters to a friend, such as these, should discover none. They are the effusions of a heart warmed with sentiments of affection. The taste of readers is various; and what appears minute and trifling to many, is to
, others, at least, a matter of entertainment. The author's design in going abroad, was to improve his History of Vandalia, by inveftigating things at the fountain-head. This has induced him carefully to study the various scenes of life, and the humours and characters of men, from the prince to the cotager; agreeably to the words of a very ingenious female traveller *, Pour connoitre au vrai les mæurs des pais, nous examinons les cabanes. If we view things in a philosophic light, are not the occupations of the farmer, the gardener, and the artificer, as inftructive and interesting a subject, as plays, Madam de Boccage.
operas, operas, and other fashionable entertainments? These the author, however, has not omitted, when they came in his way, merely in compliance with the prevailing taste. A traveller generally makes himself the hero of his piece, by reciting his hardships and fufferings, ós piana Torna Tezg8n: the author has followed the example of his predecessors; and if this has sometimes rendered him too personal, he humbly hopes for the reader's indulgence. Though no poet, he is an admirer of the Muses, and has been naturally led to intersperse these Letters with feveral passages from our best writers, which helped to footh some toilsome scenes, and, perhaps, will contribute to enliven the narration. This is all he thinks proper to mention by way of apology; the necessity of any farther preface is superseded by the beginning of the first letter.
P. S. Since the author's departure from Strelitz, he has received
the melancholy news, that Madam de Dewitz and Mademoiselle de Rauchbar are no more. The latter was ripe for her diffolution ; but the incomparable Madam de Dewitz was fnatched away in the bloom of youth, 10 the inexpressible grief of all who had the happiness of knowing her. Among the rest the author pays his fincere tribute of tears to her revered and . much lamented manes,