« ForrigeFortsett »
MR. Wakefield at the conclusion of his Memoirs, in March 1792, thus expressed himself:
“I am preparing to leave a situation where I fondly hoped to wear out the remnant of my days, in conducting youth through the flowery paths of knowledge to happiness and virtue, amidst the approbation and attachment of every friend to truth and liberty."
Yet, his prospects afterwards improving, he continued to reside at Hackney during the seven succeeding years, occupied by his literary engagements, and interested by the extraordinary occurrences of such an eventful period.
In that situation his acquaintance was much increased by a growing opinion of the excellence of his character, and the en
gaging qualities of his social intercourse. There too he cultivated friendships which were very dear to him, and which those who were honoured by his attachment will remember till with them also “ love and hatred are alike forgotten.”
It is well known to his associates that just before his “ purposes were so unexpectedly broken off” he was meditating a continuation of his Memoirs to the period of his liberation from the gaol of Dorchester. But there is great reason to regret that he relied so much on his tenacious memory, without even sketching a plan or arranging the materials for his intended work.
Under these unfavourable circumstances this Continuation must be almost entirely confined to a general account of his later works, and some events connected with them. These works we propose to notice according to the order in which they appeared, adopting the author's language whenever the occasion will allow. In the execution of those parts necessary to connect such a narrative we make no pretensions to the pleasing talent which our friend pos
sessed of giving importance even to circumstances comparatively trivial.
Of the disadvantageous form in which this publication must now appear we are fully sensible.
Yet we trust that it may still discover a prevailing regard to Truth and Freedom; ^ a sentiment which in early life Mr. Wakefield adopted as his motto: to these his mind was ardently devoted, and their
great interests he endeavoured to advance, as well by the occasional amusements of his leisure as by the occupations of his studious hours.
Nor should we fear the contradiction of those who are acquainted with all the circumstances of his history, if we added, that his life itself was at length sacrificed to those great principles of human virtue,
“ faithful found,
4 Αληθειαν και Παρρησιαν.
Par. L. v. 896.