Page images
PDF
EPUB

confusion, or roughness.

[ocr errors]

The writing of letters has so much to do in all the occurrences of human life, that no gentleman can avoid showing himself in this kind of writing: Occasions will daily force him to make use of his pen, which, besides the consequences that, in his affairs, his well- or illmanaging of it often draws after it, always lays him open to a severer examination of his breeding, sense, and abilities than oral discourses, whose transient faults, dying for the most part with the sound that gives them life, and so not subject to a strict review, more easily escape observation and censure.'

Political letters, except in very few instances, will be conspicuous by their absence. The chief obstacle to their introduction here has been the want of sufficient interest in any one or two such letters taken by themselves. The correspondence of politicians is a branch of literature in itself; and though political letters are very often most interesting in their bearing on questions of domestic and foreign policy when read in a collective form, they will be found dull and meaningless in fragments. A reference to such works as Stanhope's Life of Pitt,' The Bedford Letters,' The Correspondence of the Duchess of Marlborough,' Grimblot's Letters of William III. and Louis XIV.,' The Correspondence of George III. with Lord North,' or of William IV. with Earl Grey, and many other such collections, will help to establish my assertion on this point.

[ocr errors]

In regard to the arrangement of the different epistles, it was decided, after careful consideration, not to publish them in groups according to the subject-matter, but chronologically according to the date of each author's birth. With these few observations I will leave it to others to expatiate on letter-writing as an art and on the varied beauties of our own epistolary literature in particular; and will conclude with an expression of thanks to those gentlemen who have

kindly granted me permission to reprint extracts from recently published works.

To my friend Mr. Edmund Gosse I am very grateful for the interest he has taken in the progress of this volume, as well as for the benefit I have derived from his scholarly criticism, and for several important contributions.

RIDGWAY PADDOCK, WIMBLEDON:
May 1880.

W. BAPTISTE SCOONES.

1608-1674. Hyde, Sir Edward, to Lord Witherington

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Newcastle, Margaret, Duchess of, to her Husband
Sidney, Algernon, to his father, the Earl of Leicester
Ray, John, to Tankred Robinson.
Temple, Sir William, to Lord Lisle .

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

1630-1694. Tillotson, Dr., to the Earl of Shrewsbury.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Plaxton, the Rev. George, to Ralph Thoresby
Gwynne, Nell, to Lawrence Hyde

Sloane, Sir Hans, to John Ray

1661-1731. De Foe, Daniel, to the Earl of Halifax
Bentley, Dr. Richard, to John Evelyn.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

. 148

149
. 150

151-153

155

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »