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In the Index, at the end of the present volume, are the names of several eminent and excellent persons, of whom it would have been very satisfactory to the Editor, had he been enabled to insert full biographical notices in the body of the work; but all application for materials to the near connections of those persons proved fruitless. There are, in particular, two lamented individuals, the one of whom was in the church, the other at the bar; both men of great talents, and extensive attainments, of actively virtuous life, and of the highest character in their respective professions; and yet of whom, owing to the cause above-mentioned, little is recorded beyond the mere fact of their decease. On this apparent apathy, regarded in a private point of view, it would be improper in the Editor to make a single comment; but, looking at the subject with reference to the general gratification and interest, he must be permitted to lament, that, at a time when the public mind is unceasingly vitiated by narratives of the profligate adventures of strumpets and swindlers, every opportunity is not anxiously embraced of counteracting the pernicious tendency of those infamous details, by describing the honourable and successful career of persons distinguished for their moral and intellectual qualities; and thereby of, in some degree, continuing to posterity the benefit which the bright example of such persons, while they lived, conferred on their contemporaries.
It is pleasing to pass from these remarks to acknowledgment for the obliging assistance which has been afforded in the preparation of some of the memoirs in the present volume, by individuals, whose names it would not be consistent with delicacy to publish, but whose intimacy with the subjects of those memoirs qualified them, and whose courtesy induced them, to communicate much authentic and acceptable informatton.