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April 21 , 2008

The Arabian Nights Entertainments - Volume 01


The great kindnesses I received from M. de Guilleragus, your illustrious father, during my abode at Constantinople some years ago, are too fresh in my mind for me to neglect any opportunity of publishing what I owe to his memory. Were he still alive, for the welfare of France, and my particular advantage, I would take the liberty to dedicate this work to him, not only as my benefactor, but as a person most capable of judging what is fine, and inspiring Others with the like sentiments. Every one remembers the wonderful exactness of his judgment;—the meanest of his thoughts had something in them that was shining, and his lowest expressions were always exact and nice, which made every one admire him; for never had any man so much wit and so much solidity. I have seen him, at a time when he was so much taken up with the affairs of his master, that nobody could expect any thing from him but what related to his ministry, and his profound capacity to manage the most knotty negotiations; yet all the weight of his employment diminished nothing of his inimitable pleasantness, which charmed his friends, and was agreeable even to those barbarous nations with whom that great man did treat. After the loss of him, which to me is irreparable, I could not address myself to any Other person than yourself, Madam, since you alone can supply the want of him to me; therefore it is that I take the boldness to beg of you the same protection for this book that you was pleased to grant to the French translation of the seven Arabian stories that I had the honour to present you.
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