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to us in History, is very near the same with the Picture I have endeavour'd to draw of her: And if, in the Poetical Colcuring, I have aim'd at heightning and improving some of the Features, it was only to make her more worthy of those Illufiricus Hands to which I always intended to present her.
As the British Nation, in general, is infinitely indebted to YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS; fo every particular Person amongst us ought to contribute, according to their several Capacities and Abilities, towards the discharging that Publick Obigation
We are your Debtors, MADA M, for the Preference You gave us, in chusing to wear the British rather than the Imperial Crown; for giving the Best Daughter to our KING, and the Best Wife to our PRINCE. It is to YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS we owe the Security that shall be deliver'd down to our Children's Children, by a moft Hopeful and Beautiful, as well as a Numerous Royal Issue. These are the Bonds of our Civil Duty : But YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS has laidus under others yet more Sacred and Engaging; I
mean, those of Religion. You are not only the Brightest Ornament, but the Patroness and Defender of our Holy Faith.
Nor is it Britain alone, but the World, but the present and all succeeding Ages, who fall bless Your Royal Name, for the greatest Example that can be given of a Disinterested piety, and Unshaken Constancy.
This is what we may certainly reckon 2mongst the Benefits YOUR ROYAL HighNess has conferr’d upon us. Though at the fame time, how partial soever we may be to our selves, we ought not to believe You declin'd the First Crown of Europe in regard to Britain only. No, MAD-A M, it is in Justice to YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS that we must confess, you had more Excellent Motives for fo great an Action as that was : Since you did · it in Obedience to the Dictates of Reason and Conscience, for the Sake of True Religion, and for the Honour of God. All things that are Great have been offer'd to You; and all Things that are Good and Happy, as well in this World as a Better, shall become the Re. ward of such Exalted Virtue and Piety. The
Blessings of our Nation, the Prayers of our Church, with the Faithful Service of all Gocd Men,shall wait upon Your ROYAL HIGHNESS as long as you live. And whenever, for the Punishment of this Land, · You shall be taken from us, your Sacred Name shall be dear to Remembrance,and Almighty God, who alone is able, shall bestow upon you the Fulness of Recompenice.
Amongst the several Offerings of Duty which are made to you here, be graciously pleas'd to accept of this Unworthy Trifle; which is, with the greatelt Respect and lowest Submiffion, presented to Your ROYAL HIGHNESS, by,
M A D A M,
YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS's,
N. ROW E. .
HO' I have very little Inclination,
to write Prefaces before Works of this T Nature, yet, upon this particular
Occafion, I cannot but think my self cblig'd to give some short Account
of this Play, as well in Justice to my self, as to a very Learned and Ingenious Gentleman, My Friend, who is dead. The Person I mean was Mr. Smith.of Christ Church, Oxon: One whose Charafter I could with great Pleafiire enter into, if it was not already very well known to the World. As I had the Happiness to be intimately acquainted with him, he often told me that he design’d writing a Tragedy, upon the Story of the Lady, Jane Gray; and, if he had liv’d, i jhoud never, have thought of meddling with it my self. But as he dy'd without doing it, in the beginning of the last
Summer I refolv'd to undertake it. And indeed, the hopes I had of receiving some consideruble Alistances from the Papers he left behind him, were one of the principal Motives that induc'd me to go about it. These Papers were in the Hands of Mr. Ducket; to whom my Friend, Mr. Tho. Burnett, was so kind to write and procure 'em for me. The least Return I can make to those Gentlemen, is this Publick Acknowledgment of their great Civility on this Occahon. I must confess, before those Papers came to my Hand, I had intirely form’d the Defign, or Fable of my own Play: And when I came to look 'em over, I found it was different from that which Mr. Smith intended; the plan of his being drawn after that, which is in Print of Mr. Banks ; at least I thought fo, by what I could pick out of his papers. To say the Truth, I was a good deal furpriz'd and disappointed at the fight of 'em. I hop'd to have met with great part of the Play written to my Hand, or at the least the whole Design regularly drawn out. Instead of that, I found the Quantity of about two Quires of Paper written over in odd Pieces, blotted, interlin'd and confus’d. What was containd in'om in General, was loose Hints of Sentiments, and short cbfcure Sketches of Scenes. But how they were to be apply'd, or in what order they were to be rang’d, I could not by any Diligence of mine (and I look'd’em very carefully over more than once) come to understand. One Scene there was, and one only, that seem'd pretty near perfe£t ; in which Lord Guilford