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THIS MEMOIR OF MY FATHER,

THE PREPARATION FOR WHICH WAS THE CONSTANT

OCCUPATION OF MY MOTHER'S LIFE,

AND THE COMPLETION OF WHICH WAS THE MOST EARNEST

OBJECT OF HER DESIRE,

BOTH IN HER LIFE AND AT HER DEATH,

WHICH NOTHING BUT HER EARNEST DESIRE COULD HAVE

GIVEN ME COURAGE TO ATTEMPT,

I NOW DEDICATE TO HER MEMORY,

BELIEVING IT

TO BE THE MOST GRATEFUL TRIBUTE I CAN OFFER

ON HER GRAVE.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

SYDNEY SMITH'S Life: he who opens this book under the expectation of reading in it curious adventures, important transactions, or public events, had better close the volume, for none of these things will he find therein.

Nothing can be more thoroughly private and eventless than the narrative I am about to give; yet I feel myself, and I have reason to believe there are many who will feel with me, that this Life is not therefore uninteresting or unimportant: for, though circumstances over which my father had no control forbade his taking that active share in the affairs of his country, for which his talents and his character so eminently fitted him, yet neither circumstances nor power could suppress these talents, or subdue and enfeeble that cha

racter; and I believe I may assert, without danger of contradiction, that by them, and the use he has made of them, he has earned for himself a place amongst the great men of his time and country.

Such being the case, however, his talents, and the employment of them, are alone before the world. This is but half the picture; and these very talents, and the use he has made of them, make me believe that few who have known so much do not wish to know

more.

The mode of life, the heart, the habits, the thoughts and feelings, the conversation, the home, the occupations of such a man,-all, in short, which can give life and reality to the picture,-are as yet wanting; and it is to endeavour to supply this want that I have ventured to undertake this task.

It is always more difficult to write the life of a private than of a public man. There are many things likewise which make that of my father a peculiarly difficult one to delineate; and I should shrink from the task I have undertaken, from the fear of not doing it justice, had not death made such fearful havoc amongst his early contemporaries, and those best fitted to do justice to his memory; and age, business, or health, placed insuperable obstacles in the way of all

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