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intrinsic merit was preeminent, 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.

NEW YORK, December, 1865.

JAMES P. HOLCOMBE,

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

LETTER L-Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Grignan.-The Court of Louis the
Fourteenth-Amusements-Madame de Montespan-Dangeau, the celebrated Gam-

bler,

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LETTER XIII-Joseph Spence to his Mother.-Account of the Adepts or Alchemists-
Curious Anecdote of Gustavus Adolphus,

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LETTER XIV.-Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann.-Popularity of the Duke of Cum-
berland-Lady Walpole-Anecdote 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 Earthquake-Course
of the Ladies-The cracked Vase,

80

LETTER XVI.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Strawberry Hill a Paphos-Rage
for Loo-Story of Lady Londonderry. Note.-Strawberry Hill overrun with Visit-
ors,

84

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LETTER XVII.-Horace 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,"
86

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

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

LETTER XIX.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Bewildered by the Crowd of Vic-
tories-Dinner with Garrick and "young Mr. Burke,"

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68

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LETTER XXXV.—Mrs. John Adams to Miss Lucy Cranch.-First Impressions of Paris-
Dinner at Dr. Franklin's, with Madame Helvetius-Disgust,

LETTER XXXVI.—Mrs. Adams to Mrs. Cranch.-Description of a London "Rout"—

Dissipation of fashionable Life,

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

93

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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,

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LETTER VI.-Alexander Pope to Mr. Gay.-Congratulations on his Recovery-Reflec-
tions on Mr. Congreve's Death,

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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,

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LETTER X.—Mrs. Penruddock to her Husband.-Feelings on the Eve of his Execution,
in bidding him Adieu,

LETTER XI.—Mr. 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,

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136

LETTER XIII-Alexander Pope to Lady M. W. Montagu.-Two Rustic Lovers struck
by Lightning-Two Epitaphs by Mr. Pope,
188
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., XVIIL, 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, .
144-147

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

-Aristotle's Writings,

148

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