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THE justly acquired popularity of the MEMOIRS OF Count GRAMMONT, “which paint the chief characters of the court of Charles the Second with an easy and exquisite pencil,” renders it unnecessary for the publisher to say any thing concerning their intrinsic value.
The present edition contains the entire work as revised by Sir Walter Scott, in 1811, with all the notes; and, in addition, a considerable number of illustrative anecdotes, gleaned from the most authentic sources.
The PERSONAL HISTORY OF CHARLES THE SECOND has been compiled with care from all previous authorities, and presents, it is believed, in a small compass, the most complete picture of the merry monarch in dishabille, yet given to the public.
The King's ACCOUNT OF His ESCAPE AFTER THE BATTLE OF WORCESTER, as dictated by himself to Pepys, is one of the most romantic pieces of English history we possess. It was first published by Sir David Dalrymple, in 1766, as the King's, on the authority of the Pepys' manuscripts, preserved in Magdalen College, Cambridge. The minute and personal character of the narrative, its lively and careless style, and the collation of it with other accounts, concur in proving it unquestionably genuine. The remarks subjoined are by Mr. Pepys, and include many corrections and additions subsequently obtained from the King, Father Huddlestone, and Colonel Philips. These are inserted in the form of notes, and are respectively distinguished by the initial letters of K, P H, and Ph.
The so-called “Boscobel Tracts” are contemporary narratives, written in the quaint language of the time, by Thomas Blount, author of the “ Fragmenta Antiquitatis,” or Ancient Tenures of Land, and various other works. As they give curious variations and highly interesting additions to the King's own narrative, and are, to use the words of the Retrospective Review,“ dow among the most scarce and highly prized historical pamphlets of the seventeenth century,” it has been thought desirable to conjoin them.
The publisher permits himself to observe, that the matter now presented in a single volume, could not, in any other shape, be procured for twenty times its present price.
H. G. B.
York Street, June 1, 1816.
Of Anthony Hamilton, the celebrated author of the Grammont* Memoirs, much cannot now be with ceru iity known. The accounts prefixed to the different editions of bis works, down to the year 1805, are very imperfect; in that year, a new, and, in general, far better edition than
preceding ones, was published in Paris, to which a sketch of his life was also added; but it contains rather just criticisms on his works, than any very novel or satisfactory anecdote concerning himself. It is not pretended here to gratify literary curiosity as fully as it ought to be, with regard to this singular and very ingenious man: at the distance of almost ninety years (for so long is it since he died), this is scarcely possible ; some effort, however, may be made to communicate a few more particulars relative to him, than the public has hitherto, perhaps, been acquainted with.
Anthony Hamilton was of the noble family of that name: Sir George Hamilton, his father, was a younger son of James,
* For uniformity's sake, the writer of this sketch has followed the Memoirs in the spelling of this name; but he thinks it necessary to observe, that it should be Gramont, not Grammont.