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much the larger portion of his life was passed on a conspicuous public theatre, and that no account of it can be written, which will not assume essentially the air of history. Anecdotes are interwoven, and such incidents of a private and personal nature as are known; but it must be confessed, that these are more rare than could be desired. I have seen many particulars of this description which I knew not to be true, and others which I did not believe. These have been avoided ; nor have I stated any fact for which I was not convinced there was credible authority. If this forbearance has been practised at the expense of the reader's entertainment, he must submit to the sacrifice as due to truth and the dignity of the subject.
During the progress of this work, its two earliest patrons and best friends, Judge Washington and Chief Justice Marshall, have died. Their character and deeds are recorded in the annals of their country, and are too well known and highly valued to need any eulogy in this place; but I should do equal injustice to their memory and to my own feelings, if I were not to acknowledge with gratitude the encouragement and assistance I received from their kindness, counsel, and cooperation.