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DE CLIFFORD;

OR,

THE CONSTANT MAN.

BY THE

AUTHOR OF “TREMAINE,” “DE VERE,” &c.

Cum magnis vixi, cum plebeiis, cum omnibus;
Ut homines noscerem, et meipsum imprimis.

DR. KING's Epitaph upon Himself.

IN FOUR VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,

GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

Printed by J. L. Cox and Sons, 75, Great Queen Street,

Lincoln's-Inn Fields.

TO THE

LADY FREDERICK BENTINCK.

“ With age decayed, with courts and business tired,

Caring for nothing but what ease required,
I little thought of launching forth again

Amidst adventurous rovers of the pen."'* Such were the words of a man, one of the most eminent of his time, whether we consider his character for arts, arms, general literature, or poetry ; whether as a courtier, a politician, or a man of quality. What business then have I with them, will your ladyship say, resembling him in none of these particulars ? My answer is, that if I do not in any thing else, I resemble him in the four lines I have quoted. It is certain (though I do not like, even at seventysix, to talk of “ age decayed") that I am not a little older than when I first had the honour and good fortune of being known to you; that I have done with courts; am tired of business; and now care for nothing but what ease requires.

* Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham.

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VOL. I.

Were I, therefore, wise, perhaps I should not again launch forth in the hazardous craft of authorship. But as the illustrious Sheffield did not refrain from doing this, though all the reasons he has enumerated forbade him, so I, having perhaps as much leisure left as his Grace had when he ventured once more on the ocean of letters, presume to follow his example. Pray heaven I may, like him, safely return into port! To

pursue the figure I have adopted, I feel like one of those ancient mariners, who, after having passed much of their time in making voyages (whether prosperous or not), do not like to be laid up on shore for the rest of their lives, short as they may be. Their fancy represents that there may still remain some creek or coast which they have not explored ; and not willing that their bark should be moored in idleness, they once more weigh anchor, and give her sails to the breeze. In plain English, though tired of business, yet more tired of having nothing to do, I, like the nobleman I have quoted, once more enlist

“ Amidst the adventurous rovers of the pen." “ Very good,” you may reply; “ but what have I to do with all this, that you chose to address me upon it?"

More perhaps than you are aware of. For though a name can do little for a work which cannot do

any

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