Letters from the Levant: During the Embassy to Constantinople, 1716-18

Letters from the Levant: During the Embassy to Constantinople, 1716-18

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Letters from the Levant: During the Embassy to Constantinople, 1716-18

Letters from the Levant: During the Embassy to Constantinople, 1716-18

Read FREE!

Excerpt

BY A LADY,--1724.

I WAS going, like common editors, to advertise the reader of the beauties and excellencies of the work laid before him: to tell him, that the illustrious author had opportunities that other travellers, whatever their quality or curiosity may have been, cannot obtain; and a genius capable of making the best improvement of every opportunity. But if the reader, after perusing one letter only, has not discernment to distinguish that natural elegance, that delicacy of sentiment and observation, that easy gracefulness and lovely simplicity (which is the perfection of writing,) in which these Letters exceed all that has appeared in this kind, or almost in any other, let him lay the book down and leave it to those who have.

The noble author had the goodness to lend me her MS. to satisfy my curiosity in some inquiries I had made concerning her travels; and when I had it in my hands, how was it possible to part with it? I once had the vanity to hope I might acquaint the public that it owed this invaluable treasure to my importunities. But, alas! the most ingenious author has condemned it to obscurity during her life; and conviction, as well as deference, obliges me to yield to her reasons. However, if these Letters appear hereafter, when I am in my grave, let this attend them, in testimony to posterity, that among her contemporaries, one woman, at least, was just to her merit.

There is not any thing so excellent but some will carp at it, and the rather because of its excellency. But to such hypercritics I shall not say . . . . . . .

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