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THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
Dropmore, Dec. 3; 1803.
MY DEAR SIR,
WHEN to me your entire concurrence in my wish to print the following letters, you were not apprized that this address would accompany them. By you it will, I trust, be received as a testimony of affectionate friendship. To others the propriety will be obvious of inscribing with your name a publication, in which Lord Chatham teaches, how great talents may most successfully be cultivated, and to what objects they may most honourably be directed.
The following letters were addressed by the late Lord Chatham to his nephew Mr. Pitt, (afterwards Lord Camelford,) then at Cambridge. They are few in number, written for the private use of an individual during a short period of time, and containing only such detached observations on the extensive subjects to which they relate, as occasion might happen to suggest, in the course of familiar correspondence. Yet even these imperfect remains will undoubtedly be received by the public with no common interest, as well from their own intrinsic value, as from the picture which they display of the character of their author. The editor's wish to do honour to the memory both of the person by whom they were written, and of him to whom they were addressed, would alone have rendered him desirous of making these
papers public. But he feels a much higher motive, in the hope of promoting by such a publication the inseparable interests of learning, virtue, and religion. By the writers
of that school, whose philosophy consists in the degradation of virtue, it has often been triumphantly declared, that no excellence of character can stand the test of close observation : that no man is a hero to his domestic servants, or to his familiar friends. How much more just, as well as more amiable and dignified, is the opposite sentiment, delivered to us in the words of Plutarch, and illustrated throughout all his writings! “ Real virtue,” says that inimitable moralist,“ is most loved, where it is most nearly seen: and no respect which it commands from strangers, can equal the neverceasing admiration it excites in the