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plates, as were afterwards used, London, 1735. This was called the second edition.
To this were afterwards added two volumes of Supplement, 1741.
The next edition, called the third, was published in six vols. 8vo. 1756.
After his death the fourth edition came out in 1767, in seven vols. 8vo.
The fifth and last edition was published in 1778, in eight vols. 8vo. by Mr. Barak Longmate, who in 1785 added a Supplemental Volume.
Collins also published a quarto volume, being part of a larger Baronage, 1727.
A Baronetage (incomplete) in two vols. 8vo. 1720, which he reprinted and completed in 1741, in five vols. 8vo. an admirable work.
Besides these he gave to the world, Historical Collections of the Noble Families of Cavendish, Holles, Vere, Harley, and Ogle, fol. 1752.
Letters and Memorials of the Sydneys, two vols. fol. 1746.
A Collection of Cases of Baronies in Fee, fol. 1734.
These works are sufficient proofs of his uncommon industry. The indefatigable skill with which he searched into records, wills, deeds, epitaphs, MS genealogies, can be properly ascertained only by those, who have been engaged in similar pursuits. How much he added to the account of those later families, of whom Dugdale treated at the close of his Baronage, may be seen by a reference to that great antiquary's work. In matters of pedigree, subsequent investigations have seldom found him to be
• Barak Longmate, engraver, an excellent genealogist, and ingenious man, died July 23d, 1793, aged fifty-five.
erroneous. His flattery displayed itself in praises of character; in reverential estimates of talents and integrity; and not in genealogical untruths. This arose rather from the nature and discipline of his mind than from any wilful misrepresentations. History itself had not then risen to its present philosophic character; and who could expect it of a mere genealogist ?
For himself, the present Editor owes it to a just pride, to disclaim the undue influence of titles or birth on his mind. He feels no dazzle from them, that can destroy, or affect his powers of discrimination. He thinks them a disgrace to him, to whom they do not prove incentives to liberal conduct, cultivated pursuits, and honourable ambition. For those, whose insolence is founded upon the possession of their privileges, but who turn with a stupid or affected aversion from an inquiry into their history, every sensible and rational mind must feel not only disapprobation, but contempt. If they will not look back with curiosity and respect on those merits, which have procured them their present enviable station, on what just grounds can they imagine themselves placed where they are? It is observable, that the most insolent and haughty of the nobility are uniformly those who are least conversant about its history. Perhaps they are right: every page would teem with reproaches to their own sensual lives! A young
British Peer, who cultivates his mind, and refines his manners; who studies the public affairs of his country, and takes a virtuous part in them, is in a situation as desirable as a chastised and enlightened ambition can form a wish for. Even though his estate should be moderate, the senate opens a field for his exertions, where they will be tried only by their mèrit, whether of intention or talent. His rank will procure him respect, and a due attention to all his suggestions ; and without being liable to the caprices and expenses of popular elections, he may pursue the dictates of an honest mind unwarped and uncontrolled; and glow with the inward satisfaction of living for others, and of the daily discharge of patriotic duties. To look up to such a lot as the object of desire, is it to look to that, which is not the desire of virtue and wisdom?
Low-born people too often console themselves that these exhibitions of illustrious blood are the fables of interested flatterers. But upon what clear and incontrovertible proof the pedigrees in these volumes stand, may safely be left to the most strict and rigorous scrutiny of all those who have skill on the subject. The Peerage can furnish a number of families who can boast in the male line a most venerable antiquity. The names of Nevile, Grey, Talbot, Courtenay, Clifford, Berkeley, Clinton, Lumley, Stanley, Howard, Devereux, Sackville, and St. John, will speak for themselves. The lapse of time may in some cases have weakened the impulse and dimmed the lustre of their energies, though it may not have annihilated the extent of their fortunes. When this derivative splendour is invigorated by the original light of personal merit, how attractive and imposing is it on the feelings of a contemplative mind! Let those, who delight in degradation, rather seek it in the declension of the representative from his transmitted glory, than in the denial of past greatness, which can so easily be proved! They may then cast a sting where it is merited, and may do good: the rest is wilful blindness to the light!
There are some respects in which the members of the Upper House of Parliament have undergone a material variation of character and habits from those which they formerly held. From their numbers, and from the nearer equality of fortune of the major part of them, they are
become more blended with the people. The power and the distance of a stately and reserved aristocracy are lost: and instead of separate rights and views, they possess mingled interests with the commonalty. There are indeed a few vast and princely estates, chiefly the remnants of feudal times, and unproportionably augmented by the amazing rise in the value of landed property, which entitle those who possess them to all the splendor and inAuence of predominant wealth. The Houses of Bedford, Devonshire, Marlborough, Portland, and Northumberland: Buckingham, Stafford, and Hertford: Bridgewater, Fitzwilliam, Darlington, Spencer, Grosvenor, Powis, and Lonsdale, and perhaps a few others, have rentals, which compared with those of ancient days, must appear truly astonishing. Make every allowance for increased prices, and depreciation of money; and still their relative power, as far as wealth can operate, must be augmented. Whether the diminished respect for titles, and the altered manners of society are not more than a counterbalance to this, may be fairly questioned !
The magnificent palaces of Blenheim, Chatsworth, Woburn, and Stowe; the noble castles of Alnwick and Raby; the ancient and spreading mansions of Welbeck and Milton; the venerable park and classical site of Ashridge; the rich and highly adorned seats of Trentham and Althorp, become the rich Peers who own them, and support the splendor of the British Peerage. In the residences of these great families, both in the country and the capital, the arts Aourish; and learning finds the amplest repositories. The Stafford, Carlisle, and Grosvenor collections of pictures; the Spencer, Marlborough, Devonshire, Bridgewater, and Pembroke libraries, are national treasures, becoming a people who are contending for the empire of the world.
If to ruminate on the heroes of feudal times gratify a wild curiosity, and raise a brilliant array of images in a rich and picturesque imagination, it is perhaps in the exhibition of those who have risen by their intellectual merits in a more refined state of society, that we furnish something more suited to excite the interest of the moralist, and the sympathy of the heart. Cecil, Cooper, St. John, Harley, Walpole, and Pulteney-Chatham, and his son Pitt; Holland, with his son Charles Fox; and Melville-Bacon, Clarendon, and Somers; Yorke, Talbot, Murray, Thurlow, and Dunning: these are men, whose lives we may study without wasting our time in an idle and uninstructive curiosity! Nor will the memoirs of our great commanders, either by sea or land, be read without virtuous emotions, or solid information.
The Editor in the undertaking of this heavy task has been actuated by no other motive than a pure desire to produce an useful work, which appeared to be much wanted. He began it without any demand or hope of reward, merely as an inducement to the proprietors to hazard the great expense of a reprint, when, if they had had the additional cost of an Editor to pay, they might have been discouraged from the scheme. The very handsome and large presents of books which the proprietors have since bestowed on him without any stipulation, are as gratifying to his pride, as they are honourable to their liberality. The time consumed, and the occasional labour have been such, as he confessedly did not foresee. But he is aware that those, who had no other avocations nor pursuits, might have executed the work much more expeditiously. He confesses that, somewhat volatile and uncertain in the objects of his curiosity and amusement, he has been too often drawn aside by every flower, and tempted by every new prospect. A reader in every various path of polite literature, voracious of books, yet impatient of steady application; sometimes at a distance