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I wish no other herald,
HEN. VIII, Act 4, Sc. 2.
Acque animo prins, ut si quid promittere de me
HORACE, Sat. i. 4. 100.
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every praise-worthy endeavour ; and it frequently stimulates those, on whom it is bestowed, to deserve, not only a continuance, but an increase of favour. We hope both these positions will be illustrated by the increased merit and success of this third volume of CONTEMPORARY BIOGRA
Impartiality, whether political, moral, or personal, is a feature upon which we rely as peculiary characteristic of our undertaking. We have given fair and free scope to every man's feelings and opinions; and without opposing ourselves to any of them, have afforded a liberal
space to all.
respect to comparative claims to public indulgence, perhaps those of the present volume may be higher, as possessing some exclusive advantages. Many of the lives are of more importance, and most of them possess more general excellence in regard to composition. Two or three American characters will be found in
the present volume, and others are promised us from the same pen, if these are honoured with the approbation of the Public.
Indeed the utility and the principles of this new species of biography, are at present more diffused and understood. Voluntary contributions begin to pour in upon us; and it has grown into a patriot emotion to raise, in this manner, literary statues to living genius and virtue.
Manifold are the advantages, we conceive, which society may derive from thus anticipating the trophies which have usually been appropriated to the tomb. To that final memorial we have usually been referred for the history of the persons whom Death has summoned ; but there, alas! the brief biography has little else to shew the living world, except the prescriptive flatteries of a mourner or a friend : or if Truth enters into the detail, the hasty passenger reads, admires, and forgets her eulogy.
It is reserved for the contemporary biographer to engrave on the mind the virtues or the vices, which moulder and become unhecded when confided only to the monument.