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LIFE AND CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR.
A new edition of my father's Works having been for some time expected by the public, I have been induced to prefix to it the following short memoirs of his life and character.
There are few readers, I believe, who do not desire to know something more of an author than is commonly to be learned merely from his own writings. What he has been in private life, and in his domestic retirement; what appear to have been his habits of study, and of relaxation; how he has conducted himself as a member of society, so as to have deserved praise or blame: all these are natural topics of inquiry concerning every writer who has attained considerable literary eminence. To gratify a curiosity so reasonable, is one motive which has engaged me in the present undertaking; but, I will confess, it is not the only one.
The pride which I feel in being the son of such a father, and the gratitude and affection with which I must ever recollect him, have also powerfully induced me to pay this public tribute of respect to his memory. To his early care of my education, to his judicious introduction of me to respectable friends and patrons, to his constant good advice and excellent example, I am fond of attributing whatever credit I may have acquired in the various active employments that have fallen to my share.
I reflect with the highest pleasure on his having seen me, during many years, engaged in the service of my country; and I can with truth say, that such advantages of rank or distinction as I have been fortunate enough to acquire, which he did not live to witness, have, from that very circumstance, lost much of their value in my estimation.
James Harris, esq., the writer of these volumes, was the eldest son of James Harris, esq., of the Close of Salisbury, by his