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You can search through the full text of this book on the web at http : //books . com/| Digitized by Google KF 12.87/ '4 ized by Google Digitized by Google Digitized by ^ -• ii ii»ii- 1 /Google Digitized by Google ^^^*^^F^^^f^F^^^^^^ The melancholy duty of examining the papers of my deceased friend devolved upon me at a time when I was depressed by severe afflictions.The two remaining sketches are still more imperfect. Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of more serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative.It is difficult to discover the order in which these several pieces were writtex^ but there is reason to believe that the most copious was the last From all these the following Memoirs have been carefully selected, and put together. The style shall be simple and familiar ; but style is the image of character ; and the habits of correct writuig may produce, without labor or design, the ap- pearance of art and study.Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is allowed.Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.My hesitation in giving these Memoirs to the world, arose principally from the circumstance of Mr. My own amusement is my motive, and will be my reward ; and if these sheets are communicated to some discreet and indulgent friends, they will be seoreted from the public eye till the author shall be removed beyond the reach of criticism or ridicule.* * This passage is found in one only of the six sketches, and in that which seems to have been the first written, and which was laid aside among loose Digitized by Google MEMOIRS OF MY LIFE AND WRITINGS.Gibbon's appearing, in some respect, not to have been satisfied with them, as he had so frequently varied their form : yet, notwithstanding this difiidence, the compositions, though unfinished, are so excellent, that they may justly entitle my friend to appear as his own biographer, rather Digitized by Google INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. A lively desire of knowing and of recording our ances- tors so generally prevails, that it must depend on the influ- ence of some common principle in the minds of men.In that state of mind, I hesitated to undertake the task of selecting and preparing his manuscripts for the press.The warmth of my early and long attachment to Mr Gibbon made me conscious of a partiality, which it was not proper to indulge, especially in revising many of his juvenile and unfinished compositions.This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online.It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain.