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HER ROYAL HIGHNESS
PRINCESS DOWAGER OF WALES,
May it please Your Royal Highness,
WERE the subject of the following sheets treated in a manner suitable to its importance, the work would make an offering worthy of a Princess, whose character and conduct exhibit so fair a pattern of the Dignity of Human Nature. The gracious condescension voluntarily shown to the Author of the following weak Essay, by YOUR ROY, AL HIGHNESS, on various occasions (which he chooses to touch upon in the slightest manner possible, not from an unnatural and affected insensibility but to avoid imputations altogether contrary to his temper and intentions) encouraged him humbly to hope, that YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS would deign to patronise a work, which, however imperfectly executed, YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS knows to be sincerely intended for the purpose, which You have above all things at heart; The general advancement of truth, virtue, and religion.
Were it suitable to the rank and abilities of the author, it would be very much so to the design of the following work, would make one of the noblest parts of it, and might, in happier times than ours, prove of advantage to those of the higher ranks in life, and, through them to a whole peóple; to labour to delineate a character, and hold forth an example, of which there is, in this part of the world, but one person, that ought not to esteem it an honour to be the imitator. But to say nothing of the disproportionate qualifications of the writer for so delicate an undertaking, there is but little reason, in this thoughtless and voluptuous age,