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that nothing is so as Modern History* The writers in general, may, perhaps, have other views than the relation of facts. But it should be further observed, that those persons, who are in pofleffion of the best and most authentic materials for history, are usually persons of fashion and rank; and one of these very rarely sits down to the laborious work of writing a volume. Hence arises the falsehood and sterility of Modern History. The important facts dying with the persons who were best acquainted with them, the future writer frequently ascribes motives and consequences tor events, with which they have no.t the most distant relation.
The writer has "Hot'the vanity 'to offer this work as a history. 'He ;|»'i;«strmes no more, than having collected; and. -preserved a fund of materials, which' :rriay :afforid light and informaon to the future enquirer; who could not have found them in any of the books hitherto printed *. He is conscious,- that his style and some circumstances, are not in his favour. But he is not conscious of
* Except in a sew instances, and these are so immediately connected with the subject of the work, they could not, with propriety, have been omitted. But the names of the books or pamphlets from which they are taken, are set down in the margin. S
3 having having advanced one falsehood. The anecdotes which he has here committed to paper were;, all of them, in their day, very well known. They were the subjects of public conversation; But they have not been published. His situation gave him a knowledge of them^ and .a! personal acquaintance with several of the events. It
I was his custom to keep a diary, in which he minuted all such circumstances as seemed to him most worthy of remembrance. He has
I endeavoured to state the facts, as nearly as possible^ in the original language; and with the original colouring in which they were spontaneously given at the moment——presuming h,e°lhd,jld''thereby" exhibit the most faithful picture of a.-period, in which the noble Lord appeared; the principal figure on the canvas'V .':
* It vsis the opinion of the great Lord Somers, "That It the bent and genius of the age is best known in a free "country, by the pamphlets and papers which daily come "out, as containing the sense of parties, and sometimes the '* voice of the nation." The authority may be seen kl
the front of Lord Somers's Tracts.- If these anecdotes
had been printed in the sugitive periodical papers of the times, they must undoubtedly have classed under his Lordship's description. It is presumed, that neither the delay, nor the form of printing, will diminish the judgment of so respectable a recommendation.
With respect to the Speeches in Parliament, it is proper to inform the reader, that those marked M.S. in the margin, are now first printed from the Editor's notes, or from those of particular friends, who have obligingly affifled him. The rest are copied from various publications, in England, Holland and America. No pains have been spared to gain the best and fullest account of each speech. But it is not within the compass of one man, or of a first attempt, though neither crudely designed, nor precipitately executed, to obtain perfection. There are doubtless omiffions, though it is hoped not many. But if any Gentleman is. in.polsejjjon of any papers, or notes ©f*^y.'ij£eec/f*e"s,*:\Vljich may elucidate, or contribute to..the: .advantage of this work, the writer*'will "think himself honoured by the communication!'of them, for the benefit os a future edition; if the public favour should make one necessary.
son; by Hammond. His conduct in parliament
address to remove Sir R. Walpole.
quiry deseated by a parliamentary manœuvre.