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intrinsic merit was preëminent, or which shed light on some great public transaction, or the character of some distinguished person. Scaliger thought it very impertinent in Montaigne to think the world cared which he liked best, white wine or red; but it is nevertheless true, an unfading freshness of interest hangs around these trivial details which brings us, as it were, into the familiar presence of famous men. And probably very few would sympathize with the sentiment of Wordsworth, that if records of Horace and his contemporaries, composed upon the Boswellian plan,” were unearthed from the ruins of Herculaneum, he would regret to hear it, “ lest the beautiful ideal of those illustrious persons should be disfigured by incongruous features:”
In the distribution of the letters, some have been found which could have been referred to either of several titles. An approximation, however, to an exact classification has, on the whole, seemed to the Editor much preferable to an arrangement on any other plan.
With one or two exceptions, no translations of foreign letters have been introduced. The principal exception has been in the case of Madame de Sévigné, whose letters have given equal pleasure to men of the world like Horace Walpole, and such scholars as Sir James Mackintosh. The selections have been made with the permission of the publishers, Messrs. Mason Brothers, from the American Edition, edited by Mrs. Hale. It is to be hoped that the promised additions to the Library of Standard Letters " may be soon forthcoming
JAMES P. HOLCOMBE, NEW YORK, December, 1865.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
LETTER XVI.—Horace Walpolo to George Montagu.-Strawberry Hill a Paphos-Rage
for Loo-Story of Lady Londonderry. Note.-Strawberry Hill overrun with Visit-
of York to Strawberry Hill-Walpole's Excitement-Embarrassment as to going to
LETTER XXII.- Horace Walpole to Lady Suffolk.-Illness of the Dauphin—Dinner at La
Borde's-Extravagant and tasteless Display,
LETTER XXVIII.-Hannah More to Martha More.-Description of a Royal Wedding-
LETTEE XXXVI.-Mrs. Adams to Mrs. Cranch.-Description of a London "Rout"-
LETTTER XLL-Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton to Miss Buxton.-Dinner with Rothschild
LETTER IX.-The Bishop of Rochester to Alexander Pope.-Written from Paris-In-
LETTER XII.- Lady M. W. Montagu to the Abbé.-Crossing the Channel in a Storm-
Amusing Account of a Lady trying to conceal Lace from the Custom-house Officers-