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TO HER GRACE
THE DUTCHESS OF GORDON,
By inscribing these
your Grace's name, I seem to pledge myself to the public, for the production of something worthy such auspices. Lest this expectation should eventually operate in my
disfavour, I beg leave to explain, if not to justify, my ambition, by a simple statement of facts.
During my tour in Scotland, the perdominant sentiment of my mind, was an ad
miration of Nature, rendered at once sublime, by the grandeur of the surrounding objects, and amiable, by the feelings which they inspired. This sentiment was no where so strongly nourished as at your Grace's Highland residence. Under your eye, it acquired redoubled strength and enthusiasm. It appeared to be a favourite impression of your own mind, a favourite object of your pursuit. Your Grace was no stranger to that true taste, which unites the picturesque with the beautiful, and with the sublime; which associates every thing that is noble, with every thing that is lovely; which, in fine, connects the impulses of natural objects, with the emotions
of human sympathy. It was this feeling which I assiduously cultivated. I endeavoured to investigate its sources, and to trace its meanderings ; and in some of my leading ideas, I had the high satisfaction of receiving your Grace's approbation.
As far, therefore, as my Remarks are guided by those ideas (which will be found to be generally the case), it seems almost a duty in me to submit them to your Grace's patronage. Other motives urge me to the same conduct. I speak not of the obligations, under which your Grace has laid my own family in particular—they evince a goodness of heart, which thanks can ill repay; but I own, that I have a desire to