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latest Annals remember that Period, in which she enjoy'd two fucceffive Governors of the illuftrious Name of STANHOPE. And that your Excellency may long poffefs thofe Honours to which you have rofe by your own continued Integrity and unblemish'd Virtue, is I believe the hearty Wish of all True Britons, but of none more ardently than him who begs Leave to fubscribe himself with the highest Respect,
'N our Third Volume we left the CARDINAL in a moft exalted Sphere of ministerial Action, and Splendor, and in the greatest Efteem with his Royal Master. In this we have defcended with him, from his Zenith of Glory to his Difmiffion from Court, where we behold him as much neglected as he was before careffed, and as much vilified as before applauded: Though we have feen no Reason for that mighty Indignation, which caused this extream Change; but are fully convinced, that, when the Glory given to him was removed, his Integrity had not departed from him, and that he was in himself as meritorious as ever.
The Obfervation in the following Line,
Regis ad exemplum, totus componitur orbis,
was too fatally verified in the undeserved Fall and Treatment this great Man met with: We learn, however, from hence two ufeful Leffons; the
one, the Vanity of human Greatness; the other, the Variableness of human Judgments.
As we have had Occafion, in several Places, to mention the Reasons that induced us to undertake the Compiling this Hiftory, we fhall not here repeat them: But only observe, that, notwithstanding fome Errors may have flipped us, we hope there will not appear any but fuch as are common; that, we are not confcious to ourselves of any partial Fondneffes for our principal Character, nor of any undue Severities towards his Enemies, either dead or living; that tho' we have taken more Freedom with Monfieur Rapin, than with any other Author, our Readers may fee we were not the first who did fo, if they will but attend the many Pieces that have been published to fet forth his Mistakes; and that we do not conceive even the most Cenforious can bring against us the Charge of undertaking this Publication with a mercenary View, especially as there could be no Hopes of Family Gratifications, in vindicating the Character of one who was the first and last Person in his, of any the leaft Confequence or Distinction.
After having spoke of the many Circumftances relating to his Disgrace, and attended him both in his Retirement from the World, and his final Departure out of it, we were brought to the MEMOIRS with which this Volume and this Work is concluded, and dispatched them with as much Concifenefs as poffible.
And we cannot but here hint, that we have been at a much larger Expence about this Collection, than our Subscriptions have hitherto answered; though we are not uneafy on that Account,
because, in discharge of our Obligations to the Encouragers of it, we have afforded them more Matter and a greater Number of Embellishments than is ufually given, or might reasonably be expected.
In this Volume will be further feen what Use has been made of ancient Records, and other valuable Letters and Papers, many of which are preserved in the Exchequer Record-office: And, as to our taking fo many large Quotations from the inimitable Shakespear, we fay, that, finding him fo full of fine Imagery, in Relation to our CARDINAL, &c. we thought fome of his Scenes would be no difagreeable Parts in our History.
We must own too, that we are particularly obliged to several worthy Gentlemen, who furnished us with Original Letters, or other Matters, made use of in the Course thereof; which leads us here to acquaint our Readers, that the CARDINAL had another Dignity in the Church, which had escaped us, till communicated by a Gentleman (while the Index to this Volume was printing off) in thefe Words,
To Mr. GROVE,
A Mong the many Preferments, which Cardinal Wolfey enjoyed, I do not find any of our Hiftorians mention that of the Deanry of Saint Stephens, Westminster. As you would probably take Occafon to mention this in your Hiftory, I give you the Trouble of this Letter.
On the 3d of October, Anno 4to, Hen. 8. the King, by Letters Patents, granted the next Turn