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WOLSEY, I have presumed to Dedicate it to You; because (Pardon me, if I am mistaken) you seem to have pay'd a most remarkable Regard to his Memory, by preserving, with the greatest Exactness, the Structure and Form of an Antient, Beautiful, and Magnificent Building, * that once had so Eminent a Foun

der.

This is (to me) an evident Demonstration of Your Esteem for that Great Man, and was the Reason of my being ambi

tious At Emer in Surry.

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tious to prefix your Honourable Name to this Collection ; hoping it may meet with your favourable Reception, which will certainly give it a considerable Weight with the Publick, and add a singular Pleasure to,

SIR,

Your most Humble, and

Most Obedient Servant.

April 26, 1742.

THE

PREFACE.

T

HERE is nothing, either more Useful or Entertaining, than to be placed in the great

Theatre of human Life, (of which History gives us the most extenfiveand compleat Representation)and, by beholding herein the great Actions and Engagements, the frequent Calamities and Distresses of others, we may become so cautious and wise, as to fhun the Shoals and Rocks on which many have split, It is here, that we see whole Ages exhibited to us in one View; with the various Operations of mortal Passions; the different Principles by which ourFellow-Creatures are acted; the different Objects they are in Pursuit of; and the different II

fues

sues and Events which their Actions at last meet with. It is here, we see the Beginning, the Progress, and the Conclusion of the greatest Empires; and the probable Causes both of their Rise and Declension ; both of their Grandeur, and their Ruin; how the haughtiest States and Kingdoms have rose and Aourish'd, from the humblest and most uncultivated Simplicity of Life and Manners; and how from these, being grolly corrupted and depraved by Prof perity and Luxury, they have gradually declined, and totally perished. It is History that furnishes us with Examples of all kinds, and all Qualities, whether indifferent, vicious, or virtuous ; that strikes the deepest Impresfions on those, who are conscious of its transmitting the Memoirs of their own Management to Pofterity ; that encourages good Men in Power to be still more useful, and often makes evil ones less hurtful to Mankind; while both consider, that their Deeds will be foon viewed by the Eyes of the whole World, and Ages to come the Judges,

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