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Ir will gratify the readers of these volumes to find that the Memoir is chiefly compiled from Mr. Foster's Letters; so numerous, happily, are the references to himself and the subjects in which he took the deepest interest, that little more than a proper selection and arrangement has been requisite, in order to form them into a continuous narrative. A biography drawn from such sources will be found, probably, to present a more vivid and truthful exhibition of character, than even a record, by a self-observer, however faithfully intended, if composed after the lapse of years, when the events, and the emotions they called forth, have begun to fade upon the memory.
The sentiments of affectionate veneration cherished from early years towards the subject of this Memoir, would preclude on the part of the Editor, even were his abilities equal to the task, any attempt at a critical analysis of character. What he has aimed at accomplishing has been, to select from the materials placed at his disposal, whatever would best illustrate the intellectual and moral qualities, the principles and opinions, of so distinguished a man. He has not consciously allowed the representation to be moulded into a conformity to his own. views or convictions, either by omission on the one hand, or on the other by giving greater prominence to any class of sentiments than the place they occupied in Mr. Foster's estimation would justify. In a life so retired, and for the most part devoid of incident, a recurrence of similar trains of thought might be expected. For this reason many passages in the