Stonehenge, A Temple Restor'd to the British Druids, by William Stukeley, , at sacred-texts.com
Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven,
Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain of
ENG LAND, &c. &c.
May it please your GRACE,
TO accept of this attempt to illustrate one of the noblest antiquities now left upon earth. I am confident your Grace will not dislike it, either because it is a religious antiquity, or because it belongs to our own country.
Your Grace best shews your regard to religion, by a constant attendance on its duties, in the service of the church; and by a regular practice of its precepts, in their whole extent. And as you are justly sensible, the foundation of religion rests on a careful observance of the sabbath: you not only study to encourage it, by your own great example; but likewise discountenance, that too fashionable custom of travelling on sundays, and other profanations thereof: which are the sure root of national corruption, the sure presage of national ruin.
Nor are your Grace's virtues more conspicuous, in your religious and moral character, than in the love of your country. This you inherit with the blood that runs in your veins; this you derive from an immemorial series of noble ancestors, renowned in our annals, for their ready allegiance to the sovereign power; for their vigor in support of the constitution both in church and state; that have often
hazarded and ruined their fortunes, and poured out their blood, in its defence. I might instance particularly, the great part they bore in the Reformation, the Restoration and the Revolution.
After the honour I have enjoyed of having been long known to your Grace: I could enlarge upon the amiable qualities of your private life, your domestic and social virtues, your humane and beneficent disposition to all around you, friends or dependants, or those of your own family. With truth I might say, that you never refused to serve any person that applied to you, where it was in your power: that you never knowingly did an unkind, an injurious thing to any person: that no one ever withdrew grievd from your presence. I can safely affirm, and fear no contradiction, that justice, honour and honesty are some of the real jewels, that adorn your Grace's coronet. And they, at this time of day, receive a seasonable lustre, from your high nation, and illustrious birth.
But the agreeableness of the subject insensibly drew me from my main purpose, which was to make this publick acknowledgment, of the great favours your Grace has conferd upon me: and to beg leave to profess myself,
May it please your GRACE,
Your GRACE'S most humble,
And most devoted servant,
Jan. 1. 1739-40.