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instruction of the student, much amusement to the more advanced reader, who inspects the volume merely to pass away his vacant hours. Howel's Letters were, at one time, extremely popular. They have passed through many editions. Their wit, vivacity, and frankness, render them more pleasing than some more modern and more exact compositions. Many celebrated Letters, more correct and finished, have in them less wit, less fire, less fpirit, fewer ideas, and fcantier information,
Lady Rachael Russell's Letters are inserted in the Second Book, and must be allowed to constitute a very useful and ornamental part of it. They have been much admired by persons of taste and sensibility, both for their thoughts and their diction. Piety and conjugal affection, expressed in language, considering the time of its composition, fo pure and proper, cannot but afford a fine example to the female aspirants after delicacy, virtue, taste, and whatever is excellent and laudable in the wife, the widow, and the mother. Such patterns in high life cannot fail of becoming beneficial in proportion as they are more known and better abserved,
The very names indeed of those whose Letters furnish this and the remaining Books, are of themselves a sufficient recommendation of them. Locke, Shaftesbury, Pope, Swift, Addison, and a long list of others, besides those enumerated in the title-page, require only to be announced to gain a welcome reception. To dwell on the character and excellences of each, would be to abuse the Reader's patience. Most of them are of that exalted and established rank, which praise cannot now elevate, nor censure degrade,
Since then, the authors, whose Letters fill this volume, are able to speak so powerfully for themselves, why should the Reader be detained by a longer Preface from better entertainment? Things intrinsically good will be duly appreciated by a discerning Public, and require not the ostentatious display of a florid encomium. If the Letters here selected were the Letters of obscure men, a recommendatory introduction might be necessary to their ready admission; but they are the Letters of men, high in rank, high in fame, high in every quality which can excite and reward the attention of a nation, of which most of them have been at once the ornaments and the luminaries. Here indeed, like the setting fun, they shine with a fofter radiance than in their more studied works; retaining, however, their beauty and magnitude undiminished, though their meridian fervour is abated. Associated in this Compilation they unite their orbs and form a galaxy: they charm with a mild, diffusive, light, though they no longer dazzle with a noon-day splendour.
But it is time to conclude, since to proceed in recommending those who recommend themselves, is but an officious ceremony; yet the Editor, before he withdraws himself, begs leave to ask the Reader one question: Would he not think it a pleasure and a happiness, beyond the power of adequate eftimation, to be able to sit down whenever he pleases, and enjoy, at his fire-side, the conversation of Cicero and Pliny, of the noble Sydneys, of the lively Howel, of Pope, of Gray, of Sterne, of Johnson, and of all the other illustrious persons, whose familiar, unstudied Letters, fill the volume before him ? That pleasure, and that happiness, however great, he may here actually enjoy in as great perfection as is now possible, fince Death has filenced their eloquent tongues. By a very slight effort of imagination, he may suppose himself, while he revolves these pages, in the midst of the intelligent, cheerful, social, circle; and when satisfied with the familiar conversation of one, turning to another, equally excellent and entertaining in his way, though on a different subject, and in a diversified style. Happy intercourse, remote from noise, from care, from strife, from envy! and happy those who have leisure, fense, and taste, to relish it!
That a satisfaction so pure and so exalted, may be enjoyed from this attempt, is the fincere wish of the Editor, who ventures to express a hope, that if much is done for the Reader's entertainment, he will not complain that more has not been accomplished, but view excellence with due approbation, and defect with good-natured indulgence.
BOOK 1.-Ancient Letters,
35 To Caies Curio
go To Lucius Papirius Pætus
35 To Cajus Curio
ibid. 100 To Papirius Pætus
ibid. 113 To Ampius
ibid. 36 To Antoninus
.149 To Masius
51 To Licinius
156 Cicero the Son, to his dearest Tiro ibid.
58 To Pontius
262 To Lucius Papirius Pætus
ibid. 64 To Calphurnia
65 To the fam
66 To Prifcus
67 To Tacitus
69 To Maxinius
70 To Fubitus
9 To Erucius
79 To Pontius
11 To Catilius Severus
81 To Reftitutus
17 To Atavius
ibid. 87 To Saturninus
20 To Gallus
90 To Falco
32 To Cerealis
92 To Maximus
93 To Septitius
94 To Genitor
26 To Severus
96 To Fabacus
115 To Geminias
Page | Letter
171 120 To Tiro
25 Sir Philip Sidney to Edward Molineux,
Secretary to his father as Lord De-
29 Sir Henry Sidney to his son Robert Sid-
ney, afterwards Earl of Leicester ibid.
9 Lady Stafford to Mr. Secretary Cromwell ibid. Esq.
31 Sir Henry Sidney to Arthur Lord Grey,
ceed in his government of that king-
32 Sir Philip Sidney to his brother Robert
Sidney, who was the first Earl of
Dey, afterwards Earl of Leicester
41 Sir Thomas Sidney to his Lady ibid.