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CHELTENHAM MAIL BAG;

OR,

Letters from Gloucestershire.

EDITED BY

PETER QUINCE, THE YOUNGER.

“ Moi donc qui connois peu Phébus et ses douceurs
“Qui suis nouveau sèvré sur le mont des neuf Seurs :

“ Moi, la plume a la main, je gourmand les vices
“ Et gardant pour moi-meme une juste riguenr,
“Je confie au papier les secrets de mon cæur."

BOILEAU, Discours au Roi.

“ Les lettres et les pensées sur divers sujets que je publie aujourdhui
“ peignent à la fois la reverie et la familiarité de l'esprit."

DE STAEL.

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LONDON:

W.SHACKELL, JOHNSON'S-COURT, FLEET-STREer.

PREFACE.

If it were at all necessary for me, and I rejoice that it is not, to account for the way in which the

following Letters came into my possession, I think

I could as satisfactorily acquit myself of any fraudulent or irreverent practices, in obtaining them, as any of my cotemporaries, not even with the exception of the witty and learned Editor of the FUDGES,—THOMAS Brown the younger. I have merely availed

myself of an opportunity, which may never again occur—to me at least—and have accordingly, with all Editorial diligence and accuracy, prepared for

the public eye, some certain Epistles, which, partly

through negligence--partly through accident, and a little through good fortune, (for one's luck-penny must not be forgotten,) have fallen under my sur

veillance.

It is merely essential for me to state, that

as I have betrayed no confidence-neither have I

compromised any gentlemanly feeling, in obtaining

the porte-feuille, from which my present Selection

is made--and which contains an immense quantity

of manuscripts, no less interesting and important,

“to those whom t may concern.

-Whether the

success of my present attempt, at restoring those

documents to their right possessors—(which is my principal inducement to publish them,) may lead me to the disclosure of any others, I am not prepared to

say I shall only observe, that when the packet,

which contained the Letters in question, came into

my hands, it was not padlocked ;--when I looked to

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the letters, they were not sealed ;-neither were they marked “ Privatenor Confidential;"—the blanks

in the names were not even filled up,—and there

was no probability of their ever reaching their desti

nation, but by the course I now adopt, whereby many an anxious doubt of faith preserved—of friendship

unshaken-of love untired--and of esteem unchanged,

may be at once removed.--If a few secrets should

escape,-mor, a few little uneasy thoughts spring out like the plagues from Pandora's box, they will still

leave hope behind--at least, the hope that though a passing smile may be excited at the expense of some fashionable folly, no sting may for a moment, wound

an honest bosom, nor PETER QUINCE the younger

have cause to lament the publication of

“One line which dying he should wish to blot.”—

As for myself, as the Editor of this selection, were

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