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From the Author to the Rev. E. Mangin
" I love to exhibit sketches of my illustrious friend by various eminent hands."
Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnson 1, 296.
HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.
The amiable and truely learned author of
1.“ We are naturally led to enquire after those, who by their writings have contributed to our instruction and entertainment. So great is our curiosity in this respect, that scarce a single circumstance, which bears the most distant relation to a man, who has distinguished himself by his virtue, learning, and ability, can be called an uninteresting event.” Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the late Rev. John Jackson, Master of Wigston's Hospital in Leicester, Lond. 1764. p. l.
2.“ Philosophers suppose more perfection in the nature of man than it really posses ses.” A Letter to the Rev. Dr. Richard Watson, Lond. 1780. p. 18. And the vulgar estimate character rather by the absence of human failings, than by the presence of godlike virtues; suffering the failings rather to detract from the virtues, than the virtues to overshadow the failings.
O think not of his errors now: remember
Fr. Schiller's Death of Wallenstein, translated by S. T.
Coleridge, Esq. Lond. 1800. p. 93.
4. “ Though he shone in the pulpit, he did not shine only there; nor was he like those physicians, who prescribe large or unpalatable doses of physic to their patients, but take none themselves. He lived the truth he preached; and did not stand as a Mercury on the highway, that shews travellers the road, but keeps its place, while they pass on. He did not press on you humility and lowliness of mind, with a proud heart of his own. He did not recommend temperance, and go into excesses himself. He did not rally against oppression, and in the mean time bear hard on the poor. He did not beg charity to the distressed, to the lecture, for building houses of worship, and withhold his own. He did not preach up the heavenly world to you, and all the time pursue only this world. He did not put you on diligence in your proper callings, and neglect his own calling; for to this work, the work of the ministry, he gave up all his strength. He visibly wore away in his work, and did not rust away.” A Funeral Sermon by the Rev. S. Bourn, on his Father, the Rev. S. Bourn, quoted in Dr. Joshua Toulmin's Memoirs of the Rev. S. Bourn, Birmingham, 1808. p. 6.
5. “ No man ever more merited the regret of his friends ; for no man was ever more ardently devoted to their service. Yet not to his friends alone was his beneficence confined ; — whoever wanted assistance, was sure of his hand, -- whoever was in distress, had the command of his purse. And, while nothing was either too difficult, or too costly for his indefatigable efforts to do good, he thought nothing unbecoming, nor beneath him, that could conduce to oblige. His conduct was still more courageous and disinterested, than his sentiments were elevated and kind; for in the service of others, he held none too high for exhortation, and no one too mean for entreaty. It seemed, indeed, whether for friends or for strangers, - whether for those, in whom he delighted, or for those, of whom he knew nothing but their wants, to be the very necessity of his existence to be active in good offices. Such a man must not die without a tribute to his memory, -such a man cannot die without still living in the memory of his surviving friends." The Monthly Review, July 1799. in speaking of William Seward, Esq.
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The intention of the Author to communicate to the world some Notices of his late learned and amiable friend, Dr. PARR, has been long known to his literary associates. Many persons, with whom he has not the honour of being acquainted, have, from the interest, which they take in the biography of Dr. Parr, expressed a desire for the early appearance of a publication, which, with reference to the grandeur and the importance of the subject, stands a fair chance of disappointing their expectations, and of injuring, by the demerits of the Author on this occasion, the little literary reputation, which he possesses in their eyes. He can exhibit to their contemplation only the FRAGMENTS of a great mind — in abler biographers, and in the Doctor's own Works, they may view the 'temple's pride',
“ Its southern site, its truth complete :" by him,-such is the imperfection of his nature, or the failure of his endeavours,--they must be content to be shewn ken arches and fallen columns”; and if he, nevertheless, succeed in exciting in the minds of those younger persons,
survey the remains, such as they are, an “enthusiast heat,”—if he inspire them with a love of genius, erudition, and goodness, - if he teach them to bless the name, and hallow the memory,
and study the writings, and exemplify the morality and the piety of Dr. Parr, his labours will have produced golden fruit, and he will not be ashamed to own the work of his hands. It may
be proper to explain to the reader that the causes of the delay in the appearance of this Volume are to be found, 1. in the desire of the Author not to anticipate the authentic Memoirs of Dr. Parr, which the public have long been impatiently expecting from his excellent and enlightened friend,
Dr. John Johnstone, as an accompaniment to the forthcoming collection of Dr. Parr's Works, edited and inedited; 2. in the anxiety, rather to secure what was of a perishable nature, viz. the reminiscences of Dr. Parr's personal friends and acquaintance, than to arrange and edit what was already preserved from the chance of perishing ; 3. in the wish to obtain the fullest possible information on every subject; 4. in the necessity of completing some previous literary engagements, more particularly the Index to the Greek Thesaurus of Henry Stephens, on which he has been employed far beyond all the calculation of time, which was made, and on which he fears that he will still continue to be employed for several weeks. Yet he was most solicitous to convince those friends of himself or of Dr. Parr, who had honoured him with their communications, that he was serious in his intentions of editing them with his own recollections; and such is the uncertainty of human life and of human expectation, that many, whom he wished to read his publication, and many, who were desirous of reading it, have alike gone down into the grave. He has, therefore, contrived to devote his hours of leisure to the preparation of the First Volume, and he indulges the hope that it will become instrumental in obtaining further contributions from those friends of Dr. Parr, whose dormant reminiscences may be roused by the perusal of the facts and the circumstances, which are now brought before their minds. In the selection of the topics for this Volume, he has been guided chiefly by the facility, with which they could
be put into the hands of the printer. Hence the reader will I find the book to consist of articles collected from printed sources,
and from manuscript contributions, rather than from his own memorandums, taken during his long residence at Hatton, which could not be arranged without more time than he could command. On some parts of these articles he has made his free comments, and on some other parts he could have wished to comment, had time and space been allowed to him ; but he will find an opportunity of commenting in the Second Volume. He trusts that he has throughout the work entitled himself to the