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there never was a single instance of a person of true honour, who was willing to be spoken of, either during life or after it, as a betrayer of his country or his friend. And I am persuaded your lordship must have observed, that all those who, at this day, declare themselves. wholly careless about what the world, or the circle of their acquaintance will say of them, when they are dead, are quite as unconcerned to deserve a good character, while they live.
For my own part, 1: frankly' confess to your lordship and to the world, that whatever vanity or weakşess the ambition of a good name may be thought, either by philosophers. or by ministers of state, to imply, .. I have ever felt some degree of that ambition, from the moment I could distinguish between good and evil. My chief aim (if I have any acquaintance with my own heart) has been both in publick and private life, to deserve approbation ; but
I have never been without an earnest desire to have it too, both living and dead, from the wife and virtuous,
My lord, this passion has led me to take more pains, than you would easily imagine. It has sometimes carried me beyond the sphere, to which the men have thought proper, and perhaps, generally speaking, with good reason, to confine our sex. I have been a kind of author. About forty. years ago, having understood that the wife of the late bishop BURNET, a lady whom I greatly esteemed, had received unfavourable impressions of me, on account of the unhappy differences between queen MARY, and her sister, I wrote a faithful narrative of that affair, purely to satisfy that one person,
And when, after my dismission from queen Anne's service, I perceived how industriously
, malice was employed, in inventing calumnies to load me with, I drew up an account of my conduct in the several offices I had filled under her MAJESTY. This piece I intended to publish immediately, but was dissuaded from it by a person (of great eminence at this day) whom I thought my friend. I have since imagined, that he
had by instinct an aversion to accounting. It was faid, as a reafon for deferring the publication of my account, that prejudice and passion were grown too 'violent and stormy for the voice of reason to be heard, but that those would, after some time, fübfide ; and that the truth, then brought to light, would unavoidably prevail. I followed the advice with the lefs reluctance, as being conscious of the
power an eafy vindication whenever my patience hould be push'd to extremity.
After this I set myself another task, to which I was partly urged by the injustice, and, I may say, ingratitude of the whigs. It was to give an account of my conduct with regard to parties, and of the success fúl artifice of Mr. HARLEY and Mrs. MaSHAM, in taking advantage of the Queen's passion for what she called the Church, to undermine me in her affections. In this undertaking I had the assistance of a friend, to whom I furnished materials. Some parts of the work were of my own composition, being such passages as 'no body but myself
could relate with exactness. This was not originally intended to be published till after
But, my lord, as I am now drawing near my end, and very foon there will re main nothing of me, but a name, I am grown desirous, under the little capacity which
and infirmities have left me for other enjoyments, to have the fatisfaction, before I die, of seeing that name, (which, from the station. I have held in the great world, muft unavoidably survive me) in poffeffion of what was only designed it for a legacy. From this desire I have caused the feveral pieces above-mentioned to be connected together, and thrown into the form, in which I now take the liberty to address them to your lordship. They may pofsibly be of some use towards correcting the folly and injustice of those, who, in order to judge of the conduct of others, begin with forming to themselves characters of them, upon slight and idle reports, and then make such characters the rule, by which they admit or reject whatever they afterwards hear
concerning them. If any such happy effect as this might reafonably be hoped from the perufal of these papers, I should be far from making any apology for offering them to your lordship: I would not call it, troubling your lordship with them. No, my lord, you will not esteem itá trouble, to read them, even though you should judge them useless for the purpose l'have mentioned. The friendļhip you favour me' with, will make ýou find a particular satisfaction in this justification of my injured character to the world. And I imagine, that there is no honest mind, how much foever it may chance to be prejudiced against me, but will feel something of the same pleasure, in being undeceived.
The original letters, of which, either in whole or in part, the copies will be here found, I have directed to be preserved in my family, as incontestable vouchers of the truth of what I am going to relate: