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MADAM, THE great honour done me by Our
1, moft gracious Queen, your Royal Mother, in permitting me to prefix your illustrious Name to the following Essays, is not to be regarded as a proof of their merit, but of her Majesty's condescending goodness; who is willing to encourage the meanest of her sex in laudable attempts, and those especially which may promote Religion, to the profeffion of which, she herself is so bright an ornament. It is a high blessing to the subjects of this realm, that they A 2 :
can look up to the throne for examples of virtues and excellencies, which not only adorn human nature, but dignify even royalty itself. A splendid theme on which to expatiate, did it not rise superior to any language of mine, and throw the panegyric of so mean a writer, to an awful distance!.
The Discourses now humbly offered to your Royal Highness; were composed by a person of obscure and-undiftinguished rank, who yet hath not relinquished the proper duties of her ftation for the fake of literary pursuits. They are not fruits of learning or genius: They are not fo much effufions of the head, as of the heart 2. In order to have "rendered them more worthy offering to the Princefs Royal, and more worthy the subjects on which they 'are formed, ' I wish the Author could have equalled the many ladies who have proved by their immortal
writings, that though the Salique Law in some countries prevails with regard to political government, it rio where extends to intellectual endowments. . But I am well .convinced, MADAM, that the little book now laid at your feet, though it may be despised by the votaries of pleasure, and the patrons of infidelity, as containing none but moral and religious themes; will yet, on that very account, be regarded by your Royal Highness with the greater indulgence.
Such is the education with which your Highness is blessed, and such the examples perpetually shining before your eyes! You are happily taught to believe, that internal greatness is infinitely superior to all outward pageantry; and that the character to which a Princess should eminently aspire, is that which a Royal Sage hath finely expreft: « The King's DAUGHTER is all-glorious " within.” Begging leave to offer’un