Books, Prehistory, Avebury A Temple of British Druids, Dedication

Dedication is in Avebury A Temple of British Druids, With Some Others, Described by William Stukeley.

To the Right Honourable HENRY EARL of PEMBROKE, &c. &c.

Right Honourable,

In a family that has been in all ages remarkably the friend of the muses, I think myself happy, that I have a particular claim. To You, my Lord, this dedication is devolved by hereditary right. Through Your father's auspices and encouragement, I began and continued the work. He was ever pleased to look upon my mean performances with a favourable eye; and to assist me out of the inexhaustible fund of his own knowledge, in all kinds of ancient learning; and promised to patronize it, when published.

But if any thing herein be acceptable to the publick, they are indebted to Your Lordship for its appearing abroad sooner than I intended myself. Out of that innate love of letters which warms the breast of the Pembrokes, You thought fit to prompt and encourage me to the printing of it; and Your Lordship's judgment will be an agreeable prejudice in my favour; who have cultivated Your excellent talents by your own industry; by all that can be learned in a curious view and observation of the antiquities of Italy; who are in every sense a master of that immense treasure of Greek and Roman marbles, which render Wilton the Tramontane Rome.

Besides that learning which is the ornament of the present age, Your Lordship knows how to put a true value on the antiquities proper to Your own country. If they want somewhat of the delicacy of the Augustan times, or that of Alexander the great; yet they have their beauties, and even elegancies, which affect so exquisite a taste as Your Lordship's. A symmetry and harmony of parts, an amazing grandeur in the design, the incredible force of the mechanick powers employed in them, the most magnificent effect produced, will for ever recommend the works of the Druids, to those of Your Lordship's discerning eye and accurate judgment.

We see a convincing demonstration of this, in the fine and costly model of Stonehenge, which Your Lordship introduces in the garden at Wilton; where, I may be bold to say, it shines amidst the splendours of Inigo Jones's architecture; amidst what he did there in person, and what Your Lordship has since added, so agreeable to the former, as to render the design of that great genius complete.

So uncommon and unconfined is Your Lordship's knowledge in architecture, particularly, that Great Britain beholds a bridge arising, chiefly under Your direction, superior to any the Roman power produced at the height of empire. And Thames, which so lately rescued the Danube from gallic tyranny, boasts of a nobler ornament than that which Trajan built across that famous river.

That commendable ardour of mind, which in Your younger years led you to study men and manners, places and things, in foreign countries, you now employ for the good of Your own; in the exercise of civil and military arts. Your Lordship tempers that love of liberty, which is the glory of government, with that just allegiance to the sovereign, which is the security of all; so as to give us a view of that amiable character of ancient english nobility, which adorns every page of british history. Permit me the honour to profess myself

Your Lordship's

most faithful, and

most obedient

humble servant,

William Stukeley.