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the Number of the feign’d Juno's, Venus's, and Minerva's of Antiquity, or fallly harangu'd into the Pantheon.
HOWEVER, Persons of the highest Rank, or greatest Worth, have always been reckon'd the best Protectors of Innocence, the readiest Promoters of Industry, the heartiest Encouragers of Learning, the friendliest Vindicators of Virtue, and the faithfullest Propagators of Religion; without any Imputation of Hypocrisie, or dissembling Gloss in their admiring Dedicators. In this degenerate Age of Censoriousness and Innovation, as well as Prophaneness, Immorality, and Libertinism, an obscure Author had need secure to himself the safest Sanctuary of Refuge in Distress, before ever he ventures upon publishing any Old-fashion’d Book in Praise of Virtue, or unfashionable Treatise in Dispraise of Vice, for fear of offending those superior Criticks in Novelty, the Free-Thinkers in Vogue, the Free- Agents in Diabolical Clubs, the friend. ly Abettors of Licentiousness in Practice, or the falsest Fautors of all Irreligion in Fashion; as well as for fear also of being forc'd to fly at last, even to the very Altar, for better Security, Absolution or Indemnity, against their furious Insults, and infernal Encroachments upon divine Revelation.
Give me leave then, Madam, with great Submission, to lay this Moral, Religious and Royal Lesson at your Honour's Feet, for some kinder Patronage at your gracious Hands;
ar to court the surest Asylum of Relief upon so pressing an Occasion, as it were in King Solomon's Temple, for some Redress of such spiritual Grievances. Your most excellent Virtues demand the sole Dedication of it, as a Debt highly due to your Ladyship's own great Merit and magnificent Character. For as Tou have the greatest Share in the virtucus Accomplishments of this facred Panegyrick, so you have the best Title to the greatest Blessings and Glories it can bestow. I need not tell the World, they very well know this for a certain Truth already, without any farther Descant or fawning Dislimulation; that your Qualifications, both of Mind and Body, are incomparably Good, exceedingly Great, insuperably Graceful, and inexpreflibly Agreeable. They astonish all your charm'd Beholders at first sight into universal Love and Admiration. Your singular Endowments, both natural and acquired, excellently deserve more florid Encomiums than the most eloquent Orator can design in a full Idea of Fancy, or pretend to form exactly in Imagination. Your Chastity, Charity, and other celestial Graces, are so far sublim'd by the most pious Practices of Experience, above the very Art of Sublimity it self; that it must willingly submit its lofty Head, and acknowledge its own Infirmity, as well as Inferiority, even to your Meekness, Humility, or Lovliness of Mind. . Your Piety, Devolitness, and Religion, both
in Publick and Private, render You of an earthly Creature only not Divine, but spiritualiz’d, as it were, far above the gross Complements of Humanity. Your exemplary Prudence, Conduct and Discretion in all Points of good Education, Breeding, or Behaviour, as well as Beauty, Wisdom, and Holinefs, in all Respects, either of a single or a conjugal State of Life, will easily surprize Those, who shall ever have the Honour of your happy Acquaintance, into the profound. eft Silence of Veneration, and a tacit Insufficiency of Thought. They must all readily own the Imperfection of humane Rhetorick it self in commending your superior Perfections. To say more of them, would only be saying less still than your Virtue, almost Divine, inerits; and it would seem little else than magnifying your superlative Character (humanely speaking) into a Diminution of it by the unequal Attempt : Insomuch that it would be difficult for me to determine here, whether you do not better entirely defervé the Recommendation of this Mirrour of good Manners, Modesty, and all other Vertues, both moral and religious, contain'd in King Lemuel's Lesson; rather than the Honour only of recommending it to the fair Sex, as well as the relt of Mankind, by your own illustrious, tho' never fo inimitable Example. But, in a Word, your Ladyship’s surpassing Excellencies (not to say Royal Majesty's in Emulation) have fufficiently furnish'd me at last with a full
Answer to that puzzling Question of the great Prophetick Queen in the tenth Verse of this delightful Chapter of Delicacy as well as Devotion: Who can find a virtuous Woman? for her Price is far above Rubies. And she is now eminently found in your own glorious Perfon.
AFTER all, when I consider the memorable Glories of your Ancestors, the Renown of
your Family, and the Nobleness of your Extraction, as well as the remarkable Blessings of your Birth, and the Felicities of
wellspent Life: I can only imperfectly wish I were able to praise them worthily, while you may illustriously intail them upon the latest Posterity; or, impatiently wishing, pray for lo deserving a Patronness of distressed Virtue,that your celebrated Nuptials may be as happy (comparatively speaking) as King Solomon's Royal Marriage with King Pharaoh's Daughter was, . in all Řespects of heav'nly Benediction; and, for a Conclusion at last, immutably subscribe my felf, with the humblest Submission, highest Honour, and profoundest Congratulations of Joy upon Earth;
DEADERS will always judge for themselves, R
let the Prefacer Say what he can to court their Favour. This Trifle of a Book however is of
fer’d with the utmost good Will, Modesty and Submission to better fudgments. An Author must stand or fall in the Event by his own Veracity and the Integrity of his Performances.. Prefacing is become an absolute Custom; and Writers, as well as other Folks of greater Figure in this Age, had almost as good be out of the World, as out of the Fashion. Most people now.a-Days are best pleased with Novelties.
Well then, without any farther Ceremony, these pious Allegories, Parables, or Proverbs, call 'em which you please, are folemn Allusions of an extraordinary Nature, and recommend to us theWisdom of our most famous Predecessours, for our Imitation and Improvement. They instruct our Lives in a great deal of Divine, as well as humane Learning. They set
forth the best Discipline, both of Humanity and Divinity. They expel Vice, and introduce Virtue. Tney bridle the Tongue from all evil-speaking, or opprobrious Language; keep the Eye from all Wantonness, ør lascivious Looks; and tie-up the Hands from all Injury,