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HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL
AND EXPLANATORY NOTES.
A NEW EDITION, IN EIGHT VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR J. RICHARDSON AND CO.; G. OFFOR; T. TEGG ;
J. SHARPE AND SON; ROBINSON AND CO.; G. WALKER;
AND R. GRIFFIN AND CO, GLASGOW.
TO JOHN LORD SOMERS.
BARON OF EVESHAM.
MY LORD, I SHOULD not act the part of an impartial Spectator, if I dedicated the following papers to one who is not of the most consummate and most acknowledged merit.
None but a person of a finished character can be a proper patron of a work which endeavours to cultivate and polish human life, by promoting virtue and knowledge, and by recommending whatsoever may be either useful or ornamental to society.
I know that the homage I now pay you, is offering a kind of violence to one who is as solicitous to shun applause, as he is assiduous to deserve it. But my lord, this is perhaps the only particular in which your prudence will be always disappointed.
While justice, candour, equanimity, a zeal for the good of
your country, and the most persuasive eloquence in bringing over others to it, are valuable distinctions; you are not to expect that the public will so far comply with your inclinations, as to forbear celebrating such extraordinary qualities. It is in vain that you have endeavoured to conceal your share of merit in the many national services which you have effected. Do what
you will, the present age will be talking of your virtues, though posterity alone will do them justice.
Other men pass through oppositions and contending interests in the ways of ambition; but your great