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TO MY MOST HONOR'D FRIEND
MR. FRANCIS GODOLPHIN,
HONOR'D SIR, Your most worthy brother, Mr. SIDNEY GODOLPHIN, when he lived, was pleased to think my studies something, and otherwise to oblige me, as you know, with real testimonies of his good opinion, great in themselves, and the greater for the worthiness of his person.
For there is not any virtue that disposeth a man, either to the service of God, or to the service of his country, to civil society,or private friendship, that did not manifestly appear in his conversation, not as acquired by necessity, or affected upon occasion, but inherent, and shining in a generous constitution of his nature. Therefore, in honour and gratitude to him, and with devotion to yourself, I humbly dedicate unto you this my discourse of Commonwealth. I know not how the world will receive it, nor how it may reflect on those that shall seem to favour it. For in a way beset with those that contend, on one side for too great liberty, and on the other side for too much authority, 't is hard to pass between the points of both unwounded. But yet, methinks, the