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A BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL PREFACE,
IN FOUR VOLUMES,
SEVENTH VOLUME OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION.
SIR, It is with very great pleasure I take an opportunity of publishing the gratitude I owe you for the place you allow me in your friendship and familiarity. I will not acknowledge to you that I have often had you in my thoughts, when I have endeavoured to draw, in some parts of these discourses, the character of a good-natured, honest, and accomplished gentleman. But such representations give my reader an idea of a person blameless only, or only laudable for such perfections as extend no farther than to his own private advantage and reputation.
But when I speak of you, I celebrate one who has had the happiness of possessing also those qualities which make a man useful to society, and of having had opportunities of exerting them in the most conspicuous manner.
* This gentleman (afterwards Sir Paul Methuen, Knight of the Bath) was British ambassador at the court of Portugal, where he concluded the famous commercial treaty which is still known by his name. He was appointed a Commissioner of the Admiralty in 1709 ; of the Treasury, 1714; Comptroller of the Household, 1725. He represented the borough of Brackley in five parliaments, and died April 11, 1757, at a very advanced age.