Hutchinson -DA407 .H9 H7 1806

X oversights of those first founders of our liberties to a prec1p1tancy forced on them by urgent circumstances, to cast a vei l over their imperfections, and cherish their memory with thankfulness. So much having been said for the purpose of obviating misapprehension as to the effect of this work, it may be further expected that some merit or utility should be shewn, to justify the Editor in. presenting it to the public notice. Being not the child of his brain . and fancy, but of his adoption and judgmen t, he may be supposed to view it with so much the less partiality, and allowed to speak of it with so much the more freedom . 'l'he only ends for which any book can reasonably be published are to inform, to amuse, or to improve: but unless many persons of highly reputed judgment are mistaken as well .as ourselves, this work will be found to attain all three of them. In point of amusement, perhaps novelty or curiosity holds the foremost rank; and surely we risque little in saying that a history of a period the most remarkable in the British annals, written one hundred and fifty years ago by a lady of elevated birth, of a most comprehensive and highly cultivated mind, herself a witness of many of the scenes she describes, and active in several of them, is a literary curiosity of no mean sort. As to information, although there are many histories of the same period, there is not one that is generally considered satisfactory; most of them carry evident marks of prejudice or partiality; norwere any of those which are now read written at or near the time, or by persons who had an opportunity of being well acquainted with what was •passing, except that of Clarendon. Bu t any one who should take the pains, which the Editor has done, to examine Clarendon's State Papers, would find therein documents much better calculated to support Mrs. Hutchinson's representation of affairs than that which he himself has given. Mrs. Hutchinson writing from a motive which will very seldom be found to induce any one