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PUBLIC LIBRARY 155903

ASTOR, LENOX AND TK DEN FOUNDATIONS.

1899.

PREFACE.

The Volume here presented to the Publick; . consists of several different tracts, relating mostly to Political and Historical subjects and events, that have occurred in the course of the last fifty years, and which have already been printed, either in some of the Publick Newspapers, or in separate Pamphlets or larger Works, (some of which are grown scarce and difficult to be met with,) and partly, of some tracts of a more antient date, (relating also to the subjects of History and Politicks,) published in the times of Queen Elizabeth and Charles the I. and Charles the II. and is the begiuning of the last, or eighteentlí, century: and amongst these the reader will find the excellent tract of the celebrated John Milton, on the Liberty of the Press, intitled, Areopagitica, A speech for the liberty of unlicensed printing, addressed to the Lords and Commons of England, in' November 1644; which I have never met with in a separate pamphlet, and which is, I believe, hitherto to be found only in the general collections of Milton's Prose-works. There are also in this volume some interesting papers on the late trade to Africa for Negroe-slaves, and a valuable extract from á work of Mr. John Harriott, in support of the Justice and Wisdom of the late abolition of it, by Act of Parliament; which is a measure con

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cerning which it is only to be lamented, that it was not adopted ten or twelve years sooner. There are also some papers' concerning the late unhappy dispute with our Colonies in Nortlı America, which ended with our loss of them, and which, (by the great debt which the late King of France incurred, by the assistance he gave to the revolted colonies in that contest, and which the French Nation were unwilling to discharge,) has since been the principal cause of the dreadful Revolution in France, in 1789, and of the subsequent destruction of most of the Governments in Europe, by the victories of its present formidable ruler. These are some of the principal Topicks to which the papers here collected relate, and I have therefore given them the title of Occasional Essays on different subjects, chiefly Political and Historical. I will now proceed to set-down the separate titles of them, and the pages of the Volume, in which they are to be found, in their regular order, as follows.

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