Being a Fifth Extract from the Legacy of the late FrancisPurcell, P.P. of Drumcoolagh.Thefollowing paper is written in a female hand, and was no doubt communicated tomy much-regretted friend by the lady whose early history it serves toillustrate, the Countess D——. She is no more—she long since died, a childlessand a widowed wife, and, as her letter sadly predicts, none survive to whomthe publication of this narrative can prove 'injurious, or even painful.'Strange! two powerful and wealthy families, that in which she was born, andthat into which she had married, have ceased to be—they are utterlyextinct.
To those who know anything of thehistory of Irish families, as they were less than a century ago, the factswhich immediately follow will at once suggest THE NAMES of the principalactors; and to others their publication would be useless—to us, possibly, ifnot probably, injurious. I have, therefore, altered such of the names asmight, if stated, get us into difficulty; others, belonging to minorcharacters in the strange story, I have left untouched.
My dear friend,—You have asked me tofurnish you with a detail of the strange events which marked my earlyhistory, and I have, without hesitation, applied myself to the task, knowingthat, while I live, a kind consideration for my feelings will prevent yourgiving publicity to the statement; and conscious that, when I am no more,there will not survive one to whom the narrative can prove injurious, or evenpainful.
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