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HENRY MACKENZIE, Esq. F. R. S. E.
&c. &c. &c.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
AND HURST, ROBINSON, AND CO. LONDON
THE READER. ;
Tue reader of this Biographical Account may perhaps be surprised to find it now given to the public in the same form as it was originally read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In truth, there was at that time no intention of publishing it, as I conceived the life of Mr Home, the situation of the friends with whom he was connected, and the circumstances of the time in which he lived, to be so locally peculiar to Scotland, that they would not interest readers of the sister kingdom. It was afterwards,
however, strongly urged by some friends, for whose opinion I have great respect, that the literature of this country had now become so much an object of attention to our southern neighbours, that any details relating to it, given by one who had known it almost from its first dawning to the present time, would interest the English nearly, if not quite, as much as the Scots reader. Still, however, diffident of its value in the more formal shape of a book, I chose to give it to the world, under the protection, as it were, of the Society to which it had been read, in the less assuming form in which it was presented to that learned body. I have now another motive for this, which is still more egotistical, and for which, therefore, I am not sure if I can claim the sympathy of the reader. In reviewing these sheets, as they were read to the Royal Society, I feel the melancholyindulgence(natural to myperiod of life,) of recalling the times and occasions