Life of William Hickling Prescott

Life of William Hickling Prescott

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Life of William Hickling Prescott

Life of William Hickling Prescott

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Excerpt

The following Memoir has been written in part payment of a debt which has been accumulating for above half a century. But I think it right to add, that my friend counted upon me, in case I should survive him, to prepare such a slight sketch of his literary life as he supposed might be expected, -- that, since his death, his family, and I believe the public, have desired a biographical account of him ampler than his own modesty had deemed appropriate, -- and that the Massachusetts Historical Society, who early did me the honor of directing me to prepare a notice of their lamented associate such as it is customary to insert in their official proceedings, have been content to accept the present Memoir as a substitute. It is, therefore, on all accounts, offered to the public as a tribute to his memory, the preparation of which I should not have felt myself at liberty to refuse even if I had been less willing to undertake it.

But if, after all, this Memoir should fail to set the author of the "Ferdinand and Isabella" before those who had not the happiness to know him personally, as a man whose life for more than forty years was one of almost constant struggle, -- of an almost constant sacrifice of impulse to duty, of the present to the future, -- it will have failed to teach its true lesson, or to present my friend to others as he stood before the very few who knew him as he was.

PARK STREET, BOSTON, November, 1863.

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