Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

Qui fe ipfe norit, intelliget fe habere aliquid Divinum, femperque et fentiet et
faciet aliquid tanto munere dignum.







[merged small][ocr errors]





May it pleafe Your Royal Highness,

[ocr errors]

ERE the subject of the following sheets treated in a manner suitable to its importance, the work would make an offering worthy of a Princefs, whofe character and conduct exhibit fo fair a pattern of the Dignity of Human Nature. The gracious condefcenfion voluntarily fhewn to the Author of the following weak Effay, by YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS, on various occafions (which he chooses to touch upon in the flightest manner poffible, not from an unnatural and affected infenfibility, but to avoid imputations altogether contrary to his temper and intentions) encouraged him humbly to hope, that YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS would deign to patronife a work, which, however imperfectly executed, YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS knows to be fincerely intended for the purpose, which You have above all things at heart; The general advancement of Truth, Virtue, and Religion.

Were it fuitable to the rank and abilities of the Author, it would be very much fo to the defign of the following work, would make one of the nobleft parts of it, and might, in happier times than ours, prove of advantage to thofe of the higher ranks in life, and, through them to a whole people; to labour to delineate a character, and hold forth an example, of which there is, in this part of the world, but one perfon, that ought not to efteem it an honour to be the imitator. But to fay nothing of the difproportionate qualifications of the writer for fo delicate an undertaking, there is but little reafon, in this thoughlefs and voluptuous age, to expect any very great and extenfive good effects from propofing to general imitation the most amiable and perfect

[blocks in formation]

model. For, alas, to admire is one thing, and to emulate, anether: And it is even to be doubted, whether YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS has influence enough to change the fashion in favour of Virtue and Religion. While a continual round of idle and expenfive amusements fills up the bulk of our time, and is looked upon as the very Dignity of High Life; while the rage of gaming is carried to an excefs beyond example, fo that even the facred day of reft brings no rest from that endless drudgery, and children in their non-age are, to the difgrace of common fenfe, initiated by mafters hired for the purpofe, and furnifhed with printed fyftems of the liberal fcience of card-playing; while the grand ftudy of people of rank is, How to drown thought: While fuch is the genius of the age, what hope is there, that the retired and unaffected virtues, which dazzle not the common eye, and appear in their true excellence enly to Him, who lees not as man fees, fhould allure the unthinking to imitation! But when the fluttering tribe, who form the crowd at routs and mafquerades, are gone down to the filent grave, and have entered upon a flate, where they will find, amufement was not the end of their creation; then will the honours of the Beft of Conforts, and of Parents, shine confpicuous on the roll of fame, the delight of a wifer race, and have a place among the celebrated names of Arria, Cornelia, Porcia, Marcia, Attia, Aurelia, and others, the glory of the amiable fex, whofe charms, other than of paint, or drefs, or oftentation, will ever bloom with unfading fplendour.

Proceed, ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCESS! Continue Your pious cares in forming Your lovely Offspring to virtue and to glory. The fame fuperior prudence, which has enabled You in a country where licentioufnefs of fpeech is confidered by the people as one of their most valuable privileges, to fuftain a character of fuch dignity, that Malice itself, ftruck filent, ftands awed by native goodness and unaffected greatnefs of mind; the fame Divine fupport which has faved You from finking under that affliction which, to a delicate fpirit, muft have been beyond expreffion fevere; the fame infpiring Grace, which has formed Your rifing family fo perfectly to Your wishes, that regularity and piety are not only their practice, but their pleafure; the fame all-ruling Providence, whofe peculiar care YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS has ever been, will bring Your worthy labours to a happy iffue. There is not a virtue You can eftablish in the mind of any of Your numerous race, that may not hereafter give happinets to a kingdom. Every fpark of goodnefs kindled by Your care, and nourished by the breath of Heaven, may fhine a propitious ftar on Europe. And the concentred glories of the whole will, in the higher regions, fhed fuch fplendours on Your future elevation, that You will forget that ever there was a time when You was the moft amiable and admired character in this obfcure world.


To YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS, who knows that the fame Divine Authority which has given to thofe who turn many to righteoufnefs, ground to hope, that they fhali hereafter shine as ftars for ever and ever, has alfo taught us, that they who have laboured the most for the general advancement of virtue, are still to confider themselves as unprofitable fervants, having done only what they ought; to YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS, nothing that is here faid will appear otherwise than as a set of thoughts naturally flowing from the artlefs pen of a writer, independent in temper, and happy in the profpect of paffing his days in a private and useful station; but warned with the idea of uncommon excellence, and the hope of extenfive advantage to mankind, from the pious labours of the best of Princeffes.

That the mild and gentle reign of the most venerable of Monarchs, the Father of his people, may be long and profperous, and that He may be bleffed of the King of kings in his perfon and family; that public and private Virtue, and true Religion, may yet again raife their drooping heads; that Luxury, Infidelity, Corruption, and Perjury, may fink to the regions of darkness, whence they first arofe; and that Heaven may again fmile propitious on these once highly favoured nations; that the inestimable life of YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS may be long preferved as a bleffing to Your family, and in them to mankind, and that Your noble example may be more ftudied and imitated; that his Royal Highnefs the Prince of Wales, and the other Branches of Your illustrious house may be the peculiar care of Heaven, a blessing to the world, and a crown of glory to YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS, are the unfeigned withes of one, whom ambition would never have prompted (though Your gracious goodness has) to aspire to the honour of fubfcribing himfelf thus publicly,



Moft devoted and

Moft faithful humble fervant,


« AnteriorContinuar »