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the Argument alledg'd for their being genuine by one Gentleman, which I fhall give the Reader, in his own Words, below, prove them to be fo beyond all Contradiction. They came to my Hands, among other Papers found in the Study of a Gentleman lately deceas'd in the Country, whofe Library I bought, and who appears to have been the Author's Correfpondent, to whom they were wrote. This Gentleman had thought fit, for what Reason I fhall not pretend to determine, to efface the Name of the Writer of thefe Letters, and the Dates of them, as well as the Names of feveral Perfons mention'd in them; of which latter, however, he has, in fome Places, left the initial Letters, and in others the first and last: After having kept them fome Time by me, and, upon dipping into them now and then, found, that they not only gave a pretty particular Account of the Places from whence they were written, and their Inhabitants; but were intermix'd with Wit and Humor, Allegory and Fable; and, as I thought, not a little Satyr and fecret Hiftory, I began to entertain fome Thoughts of publishing them. I, therefore, took the Opinion of feveral Friends, whom I thought better Judges of these Matters than myself, and they all concur'd in encouraging me to it: But with this Advice that, as the Character and Capacity of the Author of thefe Letters were a Secret, it would be proper to inform myself, of fomebody
body who was thoroughly acquainted with thofe Parts, whether his Account of Perfons, Places and Things were to be depended and whether what they, as well as I, look'd upon to be Satyr and fecret Hiftory, might not be prejudicial to the Character or Reputation of any particular Perfons? There was, likewife, another Thing yet wanting, which was, as the Dates were effaced, and they came to my Hands promifcuoufly, and loose, how to get them placed, in the due Order of Time they were written in?
I HAD, at that Time, fome Concerns with a Gentleman, than whom I thought none more capable of giving me Satisfaction in these Points; I mean, Mr. Lediard, (a Gentleman pretty well known by the many Historical Pieces that have appeared under his Name) who having been many Years in those Parts, as Secretary to his Majefty's Envoy Extraordinary in Lower Germany, could not but be well acquainted with thofe Matters. I had, befides, the greater Reason to expect fome Light from him, as I found him mention'd in feveral of the Letters, and from thence hoped he might be able, likewife, to give me fome Account of the Author. 1, therefore, made no Scruple of puting all the Letters into his Hands: And, after fome Weeks, he returned them with the following
lowing obliging Letter, which I have his Leave to publish:
HAVE perus'd the Letters you put into my Hands, and by having Re"gard to the References, and comparing "Circumftances, have, without much Diffi"culty, number'd them according to the "Order of Time they certainly were wrote "in: Which appears to have been from "the Beginning of the Year 1727, thro' "that and the two following Years. As to "Your Question, Whether I believe them "genuine? I venture pofitively to affirm, "they are and must be fo. Í could give
you many Reasons to fupport this Affer❝tion; but it may fuffice to tell you, that "what the Author fays of myself, in feve"ral of his Letters, is ftrictly true ; and "tho', amidst the numerous Acquaintance "I had with English Gentlemen paffing "thro', and refiding fome Time in Hamburg, I cannot, at this Distance of Time, "call to Mind, or pofitively affert, which "of them was the Author of thefe Letters ;
yet, that I was acquainted with fuch a "Gentleman, and in Conversation with him at the Times and Places, and in the Manner he alledges, I make no Scruple to "allow. I have no Objection to any Thing *he fays on my Account, but his giving too
"favorable a Character of fome trifling Thea❝trical Performances of mine, which he faw "exhibited on the Opera-Stage in Hamburg, "and which, tho' they did, indeed, meet " with a general Applaufe, was more owing "to the Favour of my Friends, than their “ own Merit: It being a Thing quite out "of my Way, and what I should never "have attempted, but by the exprefs Com"mand of Sir Cyril Wich, and fome other "Perfons of Diftinction.
"BUT were there not these undeniable "Proofs, artificial Letters, written on Purpofe to be publifh'd, are fo apt to fall fhort of the vivid Force and Openness found in the "unbofoming of Friend to Friend, that the very Stile of them fhews they are genuine.
As to the Letter-Writer's Accounts of "Germany in general, and of the feveral "Places he vifited, in particular, with his "Character of the Inhabitants, their Customs "and Manners, I can affure you, upon my
own Knowledge, that he has had good In"formation, and that his Obfervations in "general are very juft: And tho, there may "be, here and there, a trifling Objection or
two to what he afferts; yet that, without "making any Alteration in his Relations, may "be remedied by a very few Notes; for which, if you fhould publish them, I "offer my Service.
"WHAT Share of Wit and Humour thefe "Letters may lay Claim to, I will not un"dertake to judge: I can only fay, that I "found them very entertaining; but that "may be owing to their recalling feye al "Things to my Mind, of which I have for"merly been an Eye- and Ear-Witness "they may not be fo diverting to others, "where this Circumftance is wanting; how
ever, Novelty may perhaps, in fome Mea"fure, counterbalance that.
"AN Itch of Satyr does, indeed, run thro' "the Whole; but I cannot fay it is every"where, if any-where, altogether undeferv"ing: And the Author has always obferved "the Rule given by the Duke of Bucking"ham, as a diftinguishing Characteristick of "true Satyr, in Oppofition to Railing, in the "following Lines:
'Tis humane Frailty nicely to unfold,
"HE has likewife accompanied his Satyr "with Reason and good Senfe, according to " Dr. Young:
Heroes and Gods make other Poems fine, Plain Satyr calls for Senfe in every Line. Univerfal Paffion, Sat. II.