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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
LETTER XIII-Joseph Spence to his Mother.-Account of the Adepts or Alchemists-
LETTER XIV.-Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann.-Popularity of the Duke of Cum-
LETTER XVI.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Strawberry Hill a Paphos-Rage
LETTER XVII.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Unceremonious Visit of the Duke
LETTER XIX.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Bewildered by the Crowd of Vic-
LETTER XX.-Horace Walpole to George Montagu.-Description of Lady Wortley Mon-
LETTER XXXV.—Mrs. John Adams to Miss Lucy Cranch.-First Impressions of Paris-
LETTER XLL-Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton to Miss Buxton.-Dinner with Rothschild
LETTER III-Alexander Pope to Dr. Swift.-Account of Lord Bolingbroke's Life in the
LETTER VI.-Alexander Pope to Mr. Gay.-Congratulations on his Recovery-Reflec-
LETTER VII.-Bishop of Rochester (Dr. Atterbury) to Mr. Pope.-Written from the
LETTER X.—Mrs. Penruddock to her Husband.-Feelings on the Eve of his Execution,
LETTER XII.-Lady M. W. Montagu to the Abbé.-Crossing the Channel in a Storm-
LETTER XIII-Alexander Pope to Lady M. W. Montagu.-Two Rustic Lovers struck