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EDMOND MALONE, Esq.
MY DEAR SIR,
or biographical, authenticity is of the utmost consequence. Of this I have ever been so firmly persuaded, that I inscribed a former work to that person who was the best judge of its truth. I need not tell
you I mean General Paoli; who, after his great, though unsuccessful, efforts to preserve the liberties of his country, has found an honourable asylum in Britain, where he has now lived
many years the object of Royal regard and private respect; and whom I cannot name without expressing my very grateful sense
of the uniform kindness which he has been pleased to Thew me.
The friends of Dr. Johnson can best judge, from internal evidence, whether the numerous conversations which form the most valuable part of the ensuing pages, are correctly related. To them therefore I wish to appeal, for the accuracy of the portrait here exhibited to the world.
As one of those who were intimately acquainted with him, you have a title to this address. You have obligingly taken the trouble to peruse the original manuscript of this Tour, and can vouch for the strict fidelity of the present publication, Your literary alliance with our much-lamented friend, in consequence of having undertaken to render one of his labours more complete, by your edition of Shakspeare, a work which I am confi
dent will not disappoint the expectations of the publick, gives you another claim. But I have a still more powerful inducement to prefix your name to this volume, as it gives me an opportunity of letting the world know that I enjoy the honour and happiness of your friendthip; and of thus publickly testifying the fincere regard with which I am,
My dear Sir,
Your very faithful
and obedient servant,
London, 20th September, 1785.
HE WAS OF AN ADMIRABLE PREGNANCY OF WIT, AND THAT PREGNANCY MUCH IMPROVED BY CONTINUAL STUDY FROM HIS CHILDHOOD ; BY WHICH HE HAD GOTTEN SUCH A PROMPTNESS IN EXPRESSING
HIS MIND, THAT HIS EXTEMPORAL SPEECHES WERE LITTLE INFERIOUR TO HIS PREMEDITATED WRITINGS. MANY, NO DOUBT, HAD READ AS MUCH, AND PERHAPS MORE THAN HE; BUT SCARCE EVER ANY CONCOCTED HIS READING INTO JUDGEMENT AS HE DID,