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P R E F A CE.
HE Author of these Letters made the
tour of Italy with her husband in the years 1770 and 1771: her correspondent, a near and much esteemed relation, had required from her at parting, circumstantial details (by letter) of whatever she should meet with during the period of their separation, curious or interesting; in the view of comparing her communications with the best modern travels of French or English publication,
At the request of that relation they are now published, with little other caution or correction, than the discharging them in
some measure) from repetitions, and the suppression of certain matters of mere private concern, by no means objects of information or entertainment to the Public.
It were a misuse of time to offer proofs of their authenticity, which shew fo clearly and unequivocally through every page of these volumes.
Will not the public candor prefume, that farther embellishment of style, apposite quotations, abundant illustrations, doc. doc. might have been supplied by the same pen, which offers them the present artless, ingenuous narration, had such decorations seemed expedient, or a display of the Author's reada ing been an object of publication.
Much of the matter now before us, was thrown on paper immediately after ; and not
a little of it whilst the recorded incidents were yet pafling; the greater part of it was wrote in the midst of fatigue, in moments unfavourable to precision, and unfriendly to reflection, save only to such reflections as naturally rose out of the occurring events.
The Editor, who cannot plead indifference to these Letters and their Author, finds himself impelled to anticipate the Reader's approbation of that spirit of tenderness and benevolence, that animated warmth fo honestly avowed, and so feelingly exerted in the defence of freedom and the interests of humanity, which abundantly display themselves in the pages now before us.
The Author's declining to give her name to so circumstantial a narrative, as renders it fingularly improbable it should long remain concealed, seems to call for some