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INTRODUCTION.

As à natural introduction of the following pages to the general reader, it may be necessary to prefix some short sketch of the life and character of the lamented individual, who, by a coincidence of circumstances, was thrown into contact with Lord Byron during his lordship’s residence in Cephalonia, preparatory to his proceeding to Greece, where he terminated his life.

Dr. Kennedy received his education in Edinburgh. His views were originally directed towards the bar, in preparation for which he gave himself up to habíts of close study and application, which accompanied him through life. At the same time, however, that he was prosecuting a course of reading which would have fitted him for the law, his thirst for general knowledge led him to attend also the medical classes of the University; so that when the earnest advice of his friends, in

consideration of a constitution not adapted to a sedentary life, induced him at length to abandon his original purpose, he had already laid a foundation for the profession which he ultimately adopted. Talents of no common order enabled him advantageously to follow up his medical studies; and it may with truth be said, that he rose to a high standing in his profession, and was eminently successful in its exercise ; whilst the gentleness of his manners, and the genuine kindness of his heart, qualifications so essential to a physician, conciliated the esteem and confidence of those to whom his medical services were rendered.

For several years after his obtaining an appointment in his Majesty's service, he was stationed in different parts of the United Kingdom, until he was ordered to the Mediterranean, where he passed between six and seven years.

Of these, the first three were spent in the island of Malta, where his judgment and conduct were often shewn under circumstances of difficulty. In November, 1822, he was called to Corfu, and passed the remainder of this period among the Ionian Islands, being stationed succes

sively at Paxo, Santa Maura, Cephalonia, and Ithaca, and, on an occasion of duty, he visited the island of Zantè. It was during his residence in Cephalonia, in the year 1823, and under circumstances which will appear in the body of the present work, that he became 'acquainted with Lord Byron, and that the following conversations and discussions took place.

In all the places where he was stationed, Dr. Kennedy took a lively interest in the condition of the native inhabitants, and was active, both in his official and private capacities, in endeavours, by all the means in his power, to raise and improve it. He zealously co-operated in the circulation of the Scriptures, the establishment of schools, and other useful and benevolent undertakings; and by a very simple method, too seldom resorted to by Englishmen, namely, that of associating with them on a friendly footing, he succeeded, to a remarkable degree, in acquiring the esteem and confidence of the Greeks of the Ionian Islands. The Greeks have been sometimes accused of being insensible to kindness, and deficient in gratitude, an accusation which

may probably, with equal justice, be made against any other nation as against them. Dr. Kennedy at least could not complain of this; and he received many pleasing proofs, and at seasons when no interested motives could have operated, of the affection and respect with which his character and benevolent exertions had inspired the inhabitants of these islands, and of the sincere regret they felt at his departure.

Shortly after his return to England, in February, 1826, Dr. Kennedy was ordered to Ireland, where, however, he did not long remain; as in December of the same year, he was sent to the West Indies, from whence it was the will of Providence that he should never return.

The summer of 1827 was peculiarly fatal to the troops in Jamaica, and numbers were swept off by the yellow fever, to which disease Dr. K. himself, after most faithfully discharging his trying duties among the sick committed to his charge, fell a victim. He died on the 18th of September, 1827, at Up Park Camp, near Kingston, after an illness of only three days. Some extracts of his correspondence, during the above-men

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