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FROM THE EARLIEST RECORDS AND TRADITIONS, TO THE PRESENT TIME.
FORTESCUE HITCHINS, Esq.
AND EDITED BY
MR. SAMUEL DREW OF ST. AUSTELL.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM PENALUNA ;
And Sold by Edwards, 53, Newgate-Street, London.
WHEN the history of this county, now presented to your Majesty for protection was first undertaken, the publisher, emboldened by that liberality which as Duke of Cornwall had ever distinguished your royal character, presumed to solicit the honor of placing it, by a dedication, under your Majesty's most gracious patronage. But great as his presumption was, in thus approaching so august a personage, he had the happiness to find that his application was not unsuccessful; and this consideration, under every subsequent discouragement, has been to him a source of consolation. He anticipated with secret delight the arrival of that day, when he should have an opportunity of announcing the completion of his work, and of expressing an obligation which he cannot cancel, by making a public acknowledgınent of your Majesty's sanction and condescension.
While, however, these volumes were rapidly advancing in a progressive state, many difficulties occurred, and several serious obstacles presented themselves to the publisher, which he had neither penetration to foresee, nor power to prevent. These, in their combined effect, greatly retarded his labours, and for a considerable time nearly blasted all his hopes.
It was during this period of suspension and delay, that it pleased the Almighty to call your royal and venerable father, his late Majesty, “like a shock of corn fully ripe," from an earthly crown to a heavenly inheritance, placing the sceptre of these kingdoms in your Majesty's hands, and the diadem, which its late wearer had rendered additionally illustrious by his virtues, on your royal head.
Since these mutations have taken place, this work has been resumed; and having reached its anticipated conclusion agreeably to the original proposals, the period bas arrived in whieh the publisher enjoys not only the full consummation of his early wishes, but the additional pleasure of presenting his voluines to a monarch, not more revered among foreign nations for the extent of his power, and admired for
the wisdom of his councils, than distinguished at home for his encouragement of literature, and the affection of a loyal people, whose happiness has uniformly marked the
of his auspicious reign. When your Majesty was Regent of these kingdoms, and heir apparent to the throne, the readiness with which science was fostered by your watchful care furnished a pleasing presage of what the kingdom might expect, when the movements of its energies should be placed under your Majesty's direction. Events have proved that in these calculations the nation was not deceived.
The persevering efforts which have been made, and which are still making, to discover a north-west passage into the Pacific Ocean, develope to the world your Majesty's attachment to the interest of science and of commerce ;-an attachment which no disappointment can repress, no dangers can paralyze, no expence subdue.
The establishment of “ The Royal Literary Society” has fixed an era in your Majesty's reign, by giving permanence to a centre round which a constellation of literary characters will perpetually revolve. In the meanwbile, the munificent gift of your late royal father's extensive library, to the English Nation has erected a monument more in perishable than the pyramids, and engraven on it an inscription that will be surveyed with grateful feelings by generations yet unborn.
That the felicities which have marked the commencement of your Majesty's illustrious reigu may continue to distinguish its future years, and that your Majesty may long sway the British sceptre over a free, a loyal, and an affectionate people, cherishing religion, science, literature, and the arts, is the unfeigned wish of your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subject and servant,
Helston, April, 1824.