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The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay

Library of Alexandria
DEDICATION TO DOCTOR BURNEY, FRS and correspondent to the instituteof France[1] The earliest pride of my heart was to inscribe to my much-loved Father the first public effort of my pen; though the timid offering, unobtrusive and anonymous, was long unpresented; and, even at last, reached its destination through a zeal as secret as it was kind, by means which he would never reveal; and with which, till within these last few months, I have myself been unacquainted. With what grateful delight do I cast, now, at the same revered feet where I prostrated that first essay, this, my latest attempt! Your name I did not dare then pronounce; and myself I believed to be 'wrapt up in a mantle of impenetrable obscurity[2].' Little did I foresee the indulgence that would bring me forward! and that my dear father himself, whom, even while, urged by filial feelings, and yet nameless, I invoked,[3] I thought would be foremost to aid, nay, charge me to shun the public eye; that He, whom I dreaded to see blush at my production, should be the first to tell me not to blush at it myself! The happy moment when he spoke to me those unexpected words, is ever present, and still gay to my memory