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P R E F A C E.
It may naturally be supposed that he who can sit down, in his eighty-third year, to write a volume of 500 pages, must have been urged on by some powerful motive to undertake such a task at so advanced a period of life; when the faculties of mind and body may be expected, in a certain degree, to have become impaired. I had a double motive for setting about the task:—the first was to gratify what I knew to be the wish of my family; the second, to gratify myself, by taking a wide range in recalling the remembrances of long by-gone years ; quite certain that by so doing I should be able to realize the motto of my book, and say “hæc olim meminisse juvabit.” But I may also allege a third motive of gratification : that of expressing publicly the many acts of kindness and consideration I have experienced from numerous friends, especially from those to whose patronage I am indebted for the good fortune that has attended me through life.
To me, indeed, the labour of putting together the present volume has proved rather a delightful exercise,