« ForrigeFortsæt »
Nor did we think it neceffary to confine ourselves fo entirely to the Hiftory of the Life and Times of the Cardinal, as not to introduce, here and there, a foort Account of the Lives of feveral eminent Men, his Cotemporaries; for these we conceived, as they were no unnatural, would confequently be no unpleafing Digreffions; but rather prove fo many Reliefs to the Attention of the Reader, which tires when it is conftantly pursuing the fame Tract; but, by making now and then an Excurfion, is refreshed and entertain'd with fome new, unexpected Profpect; and therefore returns with fo much the more Pleasure to the Path, from which it had been diverted.
Tho' the general Affairs of Europe are interspersed with those of England, Scotland and Ireland; yet, as we have kept ftrictly to Order of Time, and placed the Date of the Year in the Margin, the Reader will not be at a loss for the particular Period treated of.
If it should be asked, why we write the Hiftory of the Life and Times of this
memorable Statesman, after the former had been penn'd by fo learned a Man, and polite a Writer, as Dr. Fiddes? we anfwer, firft, because the Doctor himfelf feemed to hint, that the Hiftory of the Affairs of Europe ought to accompany that of the Life of the Cardinal which Defect we have here attempted to fupply And next, That we have met with feveral Pieces relating to Him, which the Doctor, we prefume, had never feen; and with many Authentic Circumftances, that are of Moment, and have a Tendency to rescue his, and other Characters from those unfair Mifrepresentations, under which they have long laboured, through the Negligence of fome Writers, or the Partiality of others, who have given too much into the common Tract of Prejudices, without a juft Regard to real hiftorical Truth. Whether, on the other hand, we have been as partial in favouring, as they have been severe in cenfuring; or, whether we have kept clear of all unreafonable, and unjuft Prejudices and Prepoffeffions, must be left to the Judg
ment of fuch Readers, as are themselves void of them.
It is a Qualification moft indifpenfably requifite in an Hiftorian, that he be a Writer of Truth, to which he ought always to pay the ftricteft Regard in every thing he relates; that he have no Prejudice to byass him, either for or against the Person whofe Hiftory he is writing; that he have not the leaft Inclination, either to disguise his Vices, or to diminish his Virtues; either to contract or leffen his Merit, or to magnify and stretch it beyond its juft Proportion. It is thro' this Medium we have endeavoured to steer in compiling this History.
For we declare with Mr.Echard, "That "we have used our beft Endeavours to "follow the ftrict Rules of Sincerity "and Judgment,the two fuperiorGuides "to an Hiftorian. As to the former, " which includes or implies Impartia
lity, we may infift upon that without "the Breach of Modefty, and declare "that we are not confcious to ourselves of any Deviation from Truth and real "Fact.
"Fact. We are fenfible of the mighty Difficulty in fome Cafes of discovering “Truth, and of knowing it when it " is discovered; and therefore beg that "fome Allowances may be made. For " a ftrict Impartiality is fo rare a Quality in fome Writers of History, that many are ready to think, that an im"partial Historian is not a Man to be "found in the World; and fome carry it further, and fay, that, confider"ing human Infirmities, it is impoffi"ble to be really impartial. But while "there are fuch things in the World as Truth and Honefty, undoubtedly there may be an impartial Histo"rian, as well as an impartial Judge, "who can certainly give Sentence ac"cording to his Conscience and Judg"ment, tho' contrary to his Defires "and Inclinations."
DIRECTION for placing the PLATES.
1 The Head of the CARDINAL, to be the Frontispiece.
Marquis of DORSET,
CHARLES VIII. King of France,
JAMES IV. King of Scotland, [Sig.Mm]273
View of Richmond, and the OLD PALACE, 250