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friends urged him in later life to undertake writing out the reminiscences with which his mind was so plentifully stored. It was not till he had passed fourscore years that at Lady Murray's earnest request he was persuaded to commit to paper a personal narrative. The book is now before mea promising quarto—alas ! all but the first twenty pages remain blank. In the last year of his life, when penmanship had become too great an effort, he was induced to begin afresh, dictating the record to his niece. This also came to no good : it is perhaps the noblest natures which have least taste for autobiography — talking of themselves.
Unwilling that the events of such a good and actively useful life should pass utterly into oblivion, Lady Murray has committed to me the task of gathering out of the scattered papers which remain something like a connected narrative. In attempting this I have been confronted with the great disability of not having known personally the subject of the memoir, nor has it been possible to repair this in any appreciable degree by the help of Sir Charles's most intimate friends, nearly all of whom have passed away. To some of those who knew him in his later years—his son, Mr Charles Murray, M.P., Mr Reginald Smith, and Mr Reginald Lucas -I am indebted for much assistance, and offer sincere thanks. But no writer ever felt more keenly than I do that,
“None can truly write his single day, And none can write it for him upon earth.”
Such as it is, this sketch of Sir Charles Murray's long life is offered in the hope that it may afford interest, not only from his own character and work, but from his association with leading men and a distant past.