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INTRODUCTION.

PART I.

LORD CHANCELLOR CLARENDON’S COLLECTION

OF PORTRAITS.

VOL. I.

INTRODUCTION.

PART I.—THE CLARENDON GALLERY.

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A GALLERY of Portraits, serving to illustrate a most eventful period in history, must always be regarded with interest; still more so when the pictures it contains can also claim attention from their excellence as works of art. But in viewing the Clarendon collection there are yet other sources of interest, suggested by the recollection that we are surrounded by the images of many of those who were linked by the ties of kindred, of friendship, or of party, to the person who collected their likenesses—that their names have been enshrined in history by his pen—and that we can at once associate with their portraits the record he has left of their actions, and the descriptions he has drawn of their character. That record may be imperfect, his judgment of character may have been partial or prejudiced, but Lord Clarendon has frankly disclosed his knowledge and his opinions, and they have been faithfully transmitted to posterity. We know the feelings with which he regarded the subjects of his gallery. Through him we liye again in their times; we view them, as it were,

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