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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.


LETTER I.–Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Grignan.—The Court of Louis the

Fourteenth-Amusements--Madame de Montespan-Dangeau, tho'celebrated Gam-


LETTER II.- Lady M. Wortley Montagu to the Countess of Mar.—Tho Birthnight Ball-

No, to be taken out of the Commandments. Note.—Refreshing Contrast in Letters of

Lady Russell—The Wretchedness of Lady Montagu's Life,


LETTER III.-Samuel Pepys to Mrs. StewardA curious Wedding between a Blue-coat

Boy and a Blue-coat Girl in Christ's Hospital,


LETTERS IV., V. VI, VII.- Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Coulanges.-A Slip be-

tween Cup and Lip-Engagement of Mademoiselle, Daughter of the Duke of Orleans, to

Monsieur de Lauzun-Immense Sensation it excites-Preliminary Gifts and Honors

conferred upon Lauzun-Broken off by the King-Behavior of the Parties-Confes-

sions of the Lady to Madame de Sévigné,


LETTER VIII.- Mrs. Bradshaw to Mrs. Howard.-Life of a Lady of Fashion in the

Country, in 1722—Eating, Drinking (Ale), Dressing, and Flirtations-How a noble Cap-

tain came to dine in white Gloves,


LETTER IX.- Lord Chesterfield to the Countess of Suffolk.—Diary of a Man of Fashion

at Bath, in which the daily Life and Conversation of the Hon. Wm. Sawyer Herbert are

especially noted,


LETTER X.- Lady Montagu to Lady Pomfret.- The House of Lords having excluded

the Ladies from the Gallery, is besieged by a Mob of noble Dames, and finally entered.

Note.-Incident in French Chamber of Deputies,


LETTERS XI., XII.-Lady Russell to Lord Russell.—Simplicity of her Life-Family News

- Messages of Love,

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LETTER XIII.-Joseph Spence to his Mother.-Account of the Adepts or Alchemists-

Curious Anecdote of Gustavus Adolphus,

LETTER XIV.-Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann.-Popularity of the Duke of Cam.

berland-Lady Walpole-Anecdoto of Lord Bath's Parsimony,


LETTER XV.-Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann.--The Earthquake-Middlesex Elec-

tions-Story of Marie Mignot. Note, Secker and Sherlock on the Earthquako–Course

of the Ladies—The cracked Vase,


LETTER XVI.Horace Walpolo to George Montagu.-Strawberry Hill a Paphos-Rage

for Loo-Story of Lady Londonderry. Note.-Strawberry Hill overrun with Visit-

LETTER XVII.-IIorace Walpole to George Montagu.-Unceremonious Visit of the Duke

of York to Strawberry Hill-Walpole's Excitement-Embarrassment as to going to
Court-Young Keppel—The American “ Rabbits,"


LETTER XVIII.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-" IIoneymoon" of the New

Reign-Funeral of George the Second-Hypocrisy of the Duke of Newcastle, 40

LETTE: XIX.-Morace Walpole to George Montagu.-Bewildered by the Crowd of Vic-

tories-Dinner with Garrick and "young Mr. Burke,"


LETTER XX.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Description of Lady Wortley Mon-

tagu-Visit to the Cocklane Ghost. Note.-Exposure of that Imposture,


LETTER XXI.-IIoruce Walpole to George Montagu.-Bon mots of Quin-Bishop War-

burton. Note.-Anecdote of Pope and Warburton-Character of the Latter, 48

LETTER XXII.- Horace Walpole to Lady Suffolk.-Illness of the Dauphin—Dinner at La

Borde's-Extravagant and tasteless Display,

LETTER XXIII.- Horace Walpole to John Chute.- Visit to John Wesloy's “ Opora."

Note.-Wesley's Reasons for adopting Secular Tunes-Knox's Account of his Char-



LETTER XXIV.- Horace Walpole to H. S. Conway-Visit to Stowe, in Company of the

Princess Amelia, .


LETTER XXV.--Horace Walpolo to George Montagu.-Beauty of the Richmond Firo-

Works-Display of Aristocracy-Anecdote of the Duchess of Queensbury-Of Mary

Queen of Scots-Or Fielding-Or Charles Townshend,


LETTER XXVI.-Bishop Warburton to Dr. Ilurd.-Account of the Bishop's Visit to

Court-Mrs. Mason's Illness-Reflections,


LETTER XXVII.--Hannah Moro to her Sister.---Trial of the Duchess of Kingston for

Bigamy-Demeanor of the Prisoner-Speeches of Counsel. Note.-Sketch of tho

Duchess's Career,


LETTER XXVIII.-Hannah More to Martha More.-Description of a Royal Wedding-
Association for better Observance of Sunday,


LETTER XXIX.-Lannah More to her Sister.-Funeral of Garrick, in Westminster





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LETTEB XXX.-Hannah More to her Sister.--Evening with the Turkish Ambassador

Dispute with Lord Monboddo about Shakospeare,

LETTER XXXI.-Hannah More to her Sister.-A London Thé-Folly of the Custom, 73

LETTEE XXXII-Hannah More to her Sister.—Dinner with Madame La Chevaliero

D'Eon. Note.-Real sex of D’Æon,


CETTEE XXXIII.-William Cowper to John Newton.-Visit of Mr. Grenville, on an

electioneering Tour, to Olney. Note. -Anecdote of Lord Wharton,


LETTER XXXIV.-Dr. Beattie to Sir William Forbc8.-Life in the Week and on Sunday

in an English Country Parsonage-Behavior of the People at Church-Bishop Por-

teus-Rural Amusements,

LETTEE XXXV.-Mrs. John Adams to Miss Lucy Cranch.-First Impressions of Paris

Dinner at Dr. Franklin's, with Madame Hclvetius-Disgust,


LETTEE XXXVI.-Mrs. Adams to Mrs. Cranch.-Description of a London "Rout"-
Dissipation of fashionable Life,


LETTER XXXVII.-Mrs. Barbauld to Miss Taylor.-Amusements at Tunbridge Wells-

Ladies riding Donkeys,


LETTEE XXXVIII.-Lord Byron to Mr. Murray.-An Italian Lady and Sir Humphrey

Dary-The Lady's Notion of a great Chemist,


LETTER XXXIX.-Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter.- Presentation of the Scotch Commis-

sioners to William IV.-Description of the Ceremonial. Note.-Lord Jeffrey's Ac-

count of Talleyrand,


LETTER XL-Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter. -Description of a Dinner at the Lord



LETTTER XLL-Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton to Miss Buxton.-Dinner with Rothschild
the great Banker; his career,


LETTER XLII-Francis Jeffrey to Lord Cockburn.-A Scotch Election—The Candidate

before and after his Return,


LETTER XLIII.-Thugh & Legaré to his Sisters.-Visit of the Queen of Franco to Brus-

sels-Account of a grand Diplomatic Dinner-A Concert at Court,


LETTER XLIV.- Wm. H. Prescott to Miss Prescott.—Young Ladies not so much in So-

ciety in England as in the United States Description of the Ascot Racos—The Coun-

try in England, .


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LETTER II. - Alexander Pope to Edward Blount.-Humor of Wycherley in his last Ill-

ness-His Marriage, and dying Injunction to his Young Wife,

page 118

LETTER III.-Alexander Pope to Dr. Swift.-Account of Lord Bolingbroke's Life in the

Country–His active Habits and simple Diet-His Message to Swift-Forthcoming

Publication of the Dunciad,

: 120

LETTER IV.-Dr. Swift to Lord Bolingbroke.-Advice to write History-His own Tem-

per and Amusements,


LETTER V.-Lord Bolingbroke to Dr. Sucift.—The Philosophy for Old Age lies in the

Regulation of the Passions, Lady Bolingbroke-Postscript from Pope as to his



LETTER VI. - Alexander Pope to Mr. Gay.-Congratulations on his Recovery-Reflec-

tions on Mr. Congreve's Death,

LETTER VII.-Bishop of Rochester (Dr. Atterbury) to Mr. Pope.-Written from the

Tower—Message to Dr. Arbuthnot_Unaltered Regard for his Friends,


LETTER VIII.- Alexander Pope to the Bishop of Rochester.-In Answer-Protestations

of Sympathy, Affection, and grateful Recollection,


LETTER IX.-The Bishop of Rochester to Alexander Pope.-Written from Paris-In-
quiry as to his Pursuits-Feelings of an Exile,

LEITER X. - Mrs. Penruddock to her liusband.-Feelings on the Eve of his Execution,
in bidding him Adien,


LETTER XI.- Dr. Penruddock to his Wife.-Written in Reply to the preceding letter, 135

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-
Happiness of those who have no Wish to leave Home, .

LETTER XIII.- Alexander Pope to Lady M. W. Montagu.-Two Rustic Lovers struck
by Lightning-Two Epitaphs by Mr. Pope,


LETTER XIV.Lady M. W. Montagu to Mr. Pope.-In Reply-Ridicules the Sentiment

of Mr. Pope-An Epitaph of her own,


LETTER XV.-Lord Chesterfield to Dr. Monsey.- Playful Allusions to the Faculty-His

own Disease incurable--It is “ Time,"


LETTERS XVI., XVII, XVIII, XIX.--Correspondence between Mrs. Piozzi and Dr.

Johnson.--Announcement of her Marriage by Mrs. Piozzi-Vehement Reproaches of

Dr. Johnson--Vindication of Mrs. Piozzi-Mournful Adieu of Dr. Johnson. Note.

Rogers's Estimate of Mr. Piozzi, .


LETTER XX.-Mr. Gray to Dr. Wharton.--Amusements in Town-Reflections on Riches

--Aristotle's Writings,


LETTER XXI.-- William Cowper to John Johnson.-Playful Acknowledgment of the

Present of a Bustard, .


LETTER XXI.-Ignatius Sancho to Mr. Sterne-Sancho, once a Slave, requests Mr.

Sterne to write on Slavery in the West Indies,


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