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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

Τ Η ο Μ Α

S,

Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery,

Baron Herbert of Cardiff, Lord Ross, of Kendal,

Par, Fitzhugh, Marmion, St. Quintin, and Shurland ; Lord President of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, and Lord Lieutenant of the County of Wilts, and of South-Wales.

MY LORD,

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HIS Treatise which is grown up under

your lordship's eye, and has ventured into the world by your order, does now, by a natural kind of right, come to your lordship for that pro, tection, which

you
several

years since promised it. It is not that I think any name, how great soever, set at the beginning of a book, will be able to cover the faults that are to bu found in it. Things in print must stand and fall by their own worth, or the Reader's fancy. But there being nothing more to be desired for truth, than a fair unprejudiced hearing, nobody is more likely to procure me that, than your lordship, who are allowed to have got so intimate an acquaintance with her, in her more retired recesses, Your lordship is known to have so far A 2

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advanced your speculations in the most abstract and general knowledge of things, beyond the ordinary reach, or common methods, that your allowance and approbation of the design of this treatise, will at least preserve it from being condemned without reading; and will prevail to have those parts a little weighed, which might otherwise, perhaps, be thought to deserve no consideration, for being somewhat out of the common road. The imputation of novelty is a terrible charge amongst those who judge of men's heads, as they do of their perukes, by the fashion; and can allow none to be right, but the received doctrines. Truth scarce ever yet carried it by vote any where at its first appearance: new opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without

any

other reason, but because they are not already common. But truth, like gold, is not the less so for being newly brought out of the mine. It star is trial and examination must give it price, and not any antique fashion: and though it be not yet current by the public stamp; yet it may, for all that, be as old as nature, and is certainly not the less genuine. Your lordship can give great and convincing instances of this, whenever you please to oblige the public with some of those large and comprehensive discoveries have made of truths hi- lords)

you therto unknown, unless to some few, from whom rather your lordship has been pleased not wholly to con- edes ceal them. This alone were a sufficient reason,

sufficient reason, were cir there no other, why I should dedicate this Essay to m. your lordship, and its having some little cor- ilicha respondence with some parts of that nobler and vast system of the sciences your lordship has made so igjor new, exact, and instructive a draught of, I think it glory enough, if your lordship permit me to boast, that here and there I have fallen into some thoughts

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not wholly different from yours. If your lordship think fit, that, by your encouragement, this should appear in the world, I hope it may be a reason, some time or other, to lead your lordship farther; and you will allow me to say, that you here give the world an earnest of something, that, if they can bear with this, will be truly worth their expectation. This, my lord, shows what a present I here make to your lordship; just such as the poor man does to his rich and great neighbour, by whom the basket of flowers or fruit is not ill taken, though he has more plenty of his own growth, and in much greater perfection. Worthless things receive a value, when they are made the offerings of respect, esteem, and gratitude: these you have given me so mighty and peculiar reasons to have, in the highest degree, for your lordship, that if they can add a price to what they go along with, proportionable to their own greatness, I can with confidence brag, I here make your lordship the richest present you ever received. This I am sure, I am under the greatest obligations to seek all occasions to acknowledge a long train of favours I have received from your lordship; favours, though great and important in themselves, yet made much more so by the forwardness, concern, and kindness, and other obliging circumstances, that never failed to accompany them. To all this, you are pleased to add that which gives yet more weight and relish to all the rest : you vouchsafe to continue me in some de

your esteem, and allow me a place in your good thoughts; I had almost said friendship. I'his, my lord, your words and actions so constantly show on all occasions, even to others when I am absent, that it is not vanity in me to mention what every body knows: but it would be want of good manA 3

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ners,

grees of

ners, not to acknowledge what so many are witnesses of, and every day tell me, I am indebted to your lordship for. I wish they could as easily assist my gratitude, as they convince me of the great and growing engagements it has to your lordship. This I am sure, I should write of the understanding without having any, if I were not extremely sensible of them, and did not lay hold on this opportunity to testify to the world, how much I am obliged to be, and how much I am,

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