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British Portrait in this its leading OUTLINE, — -if fewer of the shadings, - slight or deep, - are get worked into the piece, than those, who may love their Country, though affection blinds them not to its faulty features, -- may conceive, should be given by a Painter professing to offer a faithful not flattering likeness, --- they will patiently wait till at least another sitting. The Painter does profess to offer such a similitude, and he will keep his word, if health allows. Meanwhile, should that choicest blessing of Heaven to the inhabitants of the earth, be denied, and should this be the last time it may be permitted him to hold the pencil, he hesitates not, with great force of conviction upon his mind, to say, there will not be found a friend or foe, native or alien, in or out of the realm, who, after a candid, --- he will not say uncandid, because malignity and envy can belie their own eyes and senses, -- but, who, after a candid and HONEST inspection of what is here placed before
— can say conscientiously — the resemblance of this copy to the original, is not, as far as it goes, correct,
Of skill in the drawing, of delicacy in the tints, of fitness in the keeping, &c. &c. &c. the Painter has not a word to offer on his own account, though much, very much, indeed, on either of these points, where he has borrowed any of the colours, &c. from others; but for the resemblance, being, on the whole, exact, he should certainly meet criticism and even malice itself, at every possible point they might encounter him, did he not firmly believe, that their weapons, instead of fixing in the canvass of the Painter, or in the bosom of the Country, would recoil upon themselves.
In short, he has the fullest persuasion, that though this rough draft is set before the public eye in the best LIGHT, it is precisely in the place where TRUTH will allow PATRIOTISM to view it.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE EARL OF MOIRA,
SENSIBLE of the value of your Name, and proud as I am of placing it before the following pages, I boast not of the PERMISSION. Upon this occasion, ! certainly should have availed myself of what į have always considered as the privilege of Men of Letters in
free Country, and of English Writers in particular - to select, and to appropriate, such Patrons as seem best calculated to adorn, to strengthen, or to illustrate, their subjects; pre-supposing them to be on the side of Virtue and Truth.
It was by one of those singular events, of which the heart ever after retains a pleased impression, that some of the subsequent Letters, then collecting for the press
fell under your Lordship's eye; but, had no such favourable circumstance taken place, their very nature and design, - being to offer a friend upon the Continent, and all other foreigners a just idea of Great Britain, — indeed, to give the very body and spirit of the time its immedia ate !: form and pressure
would have made it absolutely necessary if not in the beginning, certainly in progress of the correspondence, to add the dignity, the weight, and the ornament of the Earl of Moira's intellectual, military, and moral qualities to the many living examples already noticed, or yet to be mentioned, of the MIND AND CHARACTER OF COUNTRY: and that, not on the contracted measurement of temporary questions, or
- not upon individual acquaintance or personal attachment but, on the great scale of public and private virtue, which
“ Have bought
My Lord, on that basis, it would have been my duty to give every advantage to the execution of my plan, in regard to your Lordship, as well as other highly appreciated personages, of whom without soliciting or consulting any, it has been felt as a justice due to my Country, to write as I have written, under the auspices and sanction of Truth.
Indeed, the Sheets which happened to be placed in your Lordship’s view, and which had the good fortune to satisfy your judgment while they interested your affections, did not, specifically, unfold to