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PRINTED BY G. HAYDEN,

Little College Street, Westminster.

ΤΟ

LEIGH HUNT.

FROM

A NAMELESS AND UNFAMED AUTHOR

TO RECEIVE

A DEDICATION WILL YIELD THEE LITTLE HONOUR;

BUT,

AS A TRIBUTE TO THY PUBLIC AND PRIVATE VIRTUES;

THY CANDOUR, BENEVOLENCE AND SENSIBILITY;

THY SUPERIOR TALENTS, AND UNMERITted injuries,

RECEIVE THIS TOKEN OF A DEVOTED AND

UNALTERABLE FRIENDSHIP.

THE AUTHOR.

INTRODUCTION.

GENTLE REAder,

THE title of this little book may, perhaps, suggest to you the idea of its being an elaborate description of the famous gardens belonging to the Marquis, now Duke of Buckingham, similar to the "Bath Guides," "Sea-Side Companion," &c. Let me entreat your perusal of a few pages, and you will be convinced that such is not the object of my seeking an acquaintance with you; and, not doubting your courtesy, I will proceed to show whence this title arose, together with a few introductory words concerning myself, which I hope will induce you henceforward to consider me as l'ami de famille; and as this is a title I am very ambitious of acquiring with my readers, I will begin, first, with myself. Ladies, I am an old batchelor ; yet do not, on that account, despise me; believe that disappointment, the impossibility of fixing my choice, or any other gallant and romantic motive, may have caused me thus to live in single unblessedness; but never think it want of love or admiration for your dear sex. My age is upwards of fifty, (I forbear to name precisely how near it reaches another decimal ;)

yet why should I shrink from the avowal? I am healthful, joyous, and contented-love a long walk in the country, and feel grateful that my eyes can still rejoice in the beauties of nature. My person, I fear, ranks as plain; but I flatter myself there is something agreeable in my tout ensemble. My disposition is social; my temper, "a good easy man," probably because I have had little to make me uneasy. Thus much descriptive of myself, though I am loth to leave the subject, fancying a few finishing touches might prepossess you more agreeably in my favour.

Now for the origin of this book of mine, and its title; and this leads me back to speak further of myself. My usual residence is London; but customarily I visit some charming spot in the country, during every summer. A few years since, I visited a friend. at Oxford, and from thence proceeded to Stowe, celebrated by Pope, and others, for its tasteful gardens. The then Marquis and his family were from home; but this allowed me greater freedom in viewing their domains, and having paid my introductory fee to the gardener, I strolled thither whenever I chose. I had taken up my abode at the New Inn, a pleasant hostelrie, situate half-way between Stowe and Bucking-. ham, and wearing more the aspect of a snug farmhouse, than of a noisy comfortless inn.

One morning I sauntered with a book to a favorite haunt of mine in Stowe Gardens; it was a little hidden nook apart from the footpath, and I believe not usually shown to visitors. I discovered it but a few

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