Mrs. Hamilton Gray
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You are accordingly obliged to admire what appears extremely ugly, to ascribe all sorts of value and merit to half-broken, tarnished, hideous things, which in your secret soul you think would have been far better thrown away, and to pretend to instruction which you never had even the opportunity of acquiring. In short, your anticipated great pleasure proves really a great bore, whilst you are ashamed to own almost to yourself that it is so, and would willingly store your mind with the information that would make it otherwise, if you could. I never found this easy in any case, but in regard to Etruria in particular it is needful to have the guidance of another if we would understand and estimate her remains, so scattered are the sources which treat of them, and so meagre the streams of knowledge which singly they supply. Fortunately, on this subject the author has enjoyed the first advantages which Italy can now offer, and only regrets for the readers sake that the want of a better capacity and better memory have not produced more worthy fruit. Such as it is, the British public are entreated to accept of, and excuse it.
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