To the Right Honourable Sir John Lewis Ligonier, Knight of the Bath, one of his Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, &c. &c.
'Tis customary with mankind, to deem all dedicators flatterers, who rather pay court to the fortune of their patrons, than to any real merit they possess.
But in order to avoid censure, on account of this too obvious meanness, I have happily made choice of a gentleman, to present this last offspring of my beloved mother to, of whom, had I eloquence enough to say all that is good and great, the world must allow, 'twere but barely doing justice to his exalted character.
To expatiate, Sir, on the various points in which you excel, would be a task more fitly adapted to the accuracy of a Plutarch, or the perspicuity of a Rapin, than a pen so unskilled as mine, in every polished art.
Since to display your magnanimity in the field, wisdom in the counsel, singular politeness, and universal benevolence, demands the flowers of rhetoric and poesy.
Yet, Sir, that you are dear to the soldier as his honour, to the public as a Guardian, and to all who are blessed with a participation of your social hours, as a sincere friend and most agreeable companion, I hope I may be allowed to say.
I should never, Sir, have arrived at the honour, of drawing, even this imperfect sketch of Sir John Ligonier, but that I retained the sentiments from my mother, whose intent it was, had she lived, to have inscribed to this volume to you. In this address, therefore, Sir, at the same time that I satisfy my own ambition, I do an action, grateful to the Manes of a departed mother; since, though she hated vice, and was bold enough to reprove it; goodness like yours was her darling theme.
I have the honour, to be with unspeakable respect,
Your most devoted,
And most humble servant,
J. C. Pilkington.
January 31, 1754.