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N 338 1823 VI

TO

HIS ROYAL AND SERENE HIGHNESS

LEOPOLD GEORGE FREDERIC,

DUKE OF SAXE,

MARGRAVE OF MISNIA, LANDGRAVE OF THURINGIA,

AND PRINCE COBURG SAALFIELD,

I DEDICATE THIS WORK :

BECAUSE

HE IS A LOVER OF NATURE; HAS A MANLY MIND ;

AND POSSESSES THE ELEGANT MANNERS,

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INTRODUCTION.

The most beautiful Lake in North Wales is

that of Llanberis, in the county of Carnarvon. Mountains rise around it, on every side; and

as the clouds roll round the girdle and summit of Snowdon, they are reflected on the bosom of

the lake;—and, purpled with the last tints of

the descending sun, enchant the traveller into

a state of sensation, “more partaking of heaven than of earth.”

On this spot the Author of the following

pages conceived the plan of his Philosophy of NATURE:-and retiring into one of the most

A 2

beautiful valleys, in South Wales, experienced

more real satisfaction in the unmolested tran

quillity, with which he was permitted to indulge his love of Natural Philosophy, than it is

the lot of many men to enjoy.

Upon returning to the neighbourhood of Lon

don, the Philosophy of Nature was printed. But none of the necessary arts of publishing having been exercised in its behalf, it would

have rested, " as a dead weight," upon the

fame of the author, had not one reader affec

tionally recommended it to another.

In this

manner, with all its imperfections, it gradually acquired some share of celebrity.

Two years after this, the author spent some

few months at a cottage, not far distant from the ruins of a castle, which, with the surround

ing scenery, often seemed to realize the pictures of Ariosto and Tasso, Spenser, and the

“Genius of Udolpho.” With an imagination,

enriched by scenes like these, he resumed

his pen: and, with a view of noting the

enjoyments with which science, literature, and the elegant arts, impregnate the privacy of life, he composed his AMUSEMENTS in RE

TIREMENT.

The two succeeding winters were passed in

the environs of London: where, being occasion

ally at the theatres, the manner of representing Hamlet, Macbeth, Cymbeline, and Othello, inspired him with a wish, if possible, to write atra

gedy.--Hence originated the ITALIANS.

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