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EDMOND MALONE, Esq.
MY DEAR SIR,
N every narrative, whether historical or biographical, authenticity is of the utmost confequence. Of this I have ever been fo firmly perfuaded, that I inscribed a former work to that person who was the best judge of its truth. I need not tell you I mean General Paoli; who, after his great, though unsuccessful, efforts to preferve the liberties of his country, has found an honourable asylum in Britain, where he has now lived many years the object of Royal regard and private refpect; and whom I cannot name without expreffing my very grateful fenfe of
of the uniform kindness which he has been pleased to fhew me.
The friends of Dr. Johnfon can beft judge, from internal evidence, whether the numerous converfations which form the most valuable part of the enfuing pages, are correctly related. To them therefore I wish to appeal, for the accuracy of the portrait here exhibited to the world.
As one of thofe who were intimately acquainted with him, you have a title to this addrefs. You have obligingly taken the trouble to perufe the original manufcript of this Tour, and can vouch for the ftrict fidelity of the prefent publication. Your literary alliance with our much-lamented friend, in confequence of having undertaken to render one of his labours more complete, by your edition of Shakspeare, a work which I am confi
dent will not disappoint the expectations of the publick, gives you another claim. But I have a still more powerful inducement to prefix your name to this volume, as it gives me an opportunity of letting the world know that I enjoy the honour and happiness of your friendship; and of thus publickly teftifying the fincere regard with which I am,
HE WAS OF AN ADMIRABLE PREGNANCY OF WIT, AND THAT PREGNANCY MUCH IMPROVED BY CONTINUAL STUDY FROM HIS CHILDHOOD; BY WHICH HE HAD GOTTEN SUCH A PROMPTNESS IN EXPRESSING HIS MIND, THAT HIS EXTEMPORAL SPEECHES WERE LITTLE INFERIOUR TO HIS PREMEDITATED WRITINGS. MANY, NO DOUBT, HAD READ AS MUCH, AND PERHAPS MORE THAN HE; BUT SCARCE EVER ANY CONCOCTED HIS READING INTO JUDGEMENT AS HE DID,