The Female Quixote, by Charlotte Lennox

Preface

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Middlesex

My Lord,

Such is the Power of Interest over almost every Mind, that no one is long without Arguments to prove any Position which is ardently wished to be true, or to justify any Measures which are dictated by Inclination.

By this subtil Sophistry of Desire, I have been persuaded to hope, that this Book may, without Impropriety, be inscribed to Your Lordship; but am not certain, that my Reasons will have the same Force upon other Understandings.

The Dread which a Writer feels of the public Censure; the still greater Dread of Neglect; and the eager Wish for Support and Protection, which is impressed by the Consciousness of Imbecillity; are unknown to those who have never adventured into the World; and I am afraid, my Lord, equally unknown to those, who have always found the World ready to applaud them.

'Tis, therefore, not unlikely, that the Design of this Address may be mistaken, and the Effects of my Fear imputed to my Vanity: They who see Your Lordship's Name prefixed to my Performance, will rather condemn my Presumption, than compassionate my Anxiety.

But, whatever be supposed my Motive, the Praise of Judgment cannot be denied me; for, to whom can Timidity so properly fly for Shelter, as to him who has been so long distinguished for Candour and Humanity? How can Vanity be so completely gratified, as by the allowed Patronage of him whose Judgment has so long given a Standard to the National Taste? Or by what other means could I so powerfully suppress all Opposition, but that of Envy, as by declaring myself,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's

Obliged and most Obedient

Humble Servant,

The Author?

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/lennox/charlotte/female-quixote/preface1.html

Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38