« PreviousContinue »
REVEREND MR. HD.
The celebrated Dr. Priestley having long presented to the world a character new and curious in its kind, you expressed a desire, that a portrait of him might be taken from his works, and given to the public upon a small scale.
In consequence of what had passed, the writer of the following pages, having some acquaintance with the Doctor's publications, sat down to a sketch of his whole-length; which, being verified by proper authorities, may be considered as a piece taken from the life. He has employed some pains to make the drawing correct, and he hopes the colours will stand : that if the Doctor's writings should hereafter be scarce, (as it is conjectured they will be) people may know what he was. With the outward tabernacle of Dr. Priestley he has no concern; but with that Dr. Priestley only, which is to be found in books and pamphlets to a very great amount: mens cujusque is est quisque: and if the present exhibition of him to the connoisseurs, at the usual price of one shilling a-piece, shall furnish you (or nearly so) with the thing you wished for, and convey to the public a just idea at a small expence, I shall be happy, that in a time of leisure, while the town is empty, I could turn my pencil to the present subject.
What have you and I lived to see! a staymaker of Thetford, and a Dissenting teacher of Birmingham, called upon to take their share of the government in that city, which in the last age affected universal monarchy! Thus was Babylon once the mis