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PAGE viii

first time. The object was to bring together all that could throw light on the life and character of one who occupied so conspicuous a sphere in the times in which he lived; and it is scarcely too much to say, that the documents here laid before the Members of the WODROW SOCIETY perhaps embody all that can now be known regarding him.1

But in order to exhibit as fully as possible the character of Livingstone himself, of his times, and his friends, there are appended to his own productions some Letters from one of his correspondents, a lady who stood very high in his estimation, Elizabeth Melville, Lady Colville of Culross. They indicate not merely the estimate in which Livingstone was held, but present us indirectly with instructive glimpses of the manners and spirit of his times. The views expressed by Lady Colville in these letters, as well as the sentiments recorded by another lady in the "SOLILOQUIES" which close this volume, exhibit to us how perfect was the sympathy, and how vigorous the co-operation, of the female mind in the sufferings and events of the times when Israel was troubled.

As a Prefatory Note introduces, and in some degree explains, nearly all the other portions of the volume, it is needless to refer



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1    There are two portraits in the possession of the Right Honourable the Earl of Wemyss, at Gosford House, said to be those of Livingstone and his wife. We may here observe, that in some MSS. his stipend from one of his parishes is mentioned at L.40 per annum; but startling as it may appear, this is a mistake for L.4. (See Keid's Hist, of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, vol. i. p.124.)

PAGE ix

to them here in detail; and we only remark, in reference to the spelling, which varies so much in different MSS., or even in the same at different places, that we have generally followed the original words when editing from MSS., and been less particular in reference to what had formerly been printed, and in a great measure modernized.

The Members of the Wodrow Society are indebted to the Rev. Thomas M'Crie for the use of several MSS., which will be found frequently referred to in this volume; to the Rev. J. Stevenson of Newton-on-Ayr, for his kindness in procuring extracts illustrative of the Life of Welsh, from the Records of the Kirk-Session of Ayr; to James Paterson, Esq., of that town, for his kindness and pains in decyphering and transcribing them; to William Brown, Esq., surgeon, Edinburgh, for the use of a valuable MS. of Livingstone's Life and two MSS. of his Characteristics, and to other friends for the use of works, which tended to throw light on various passages of the different Biographies, especially those of Welsh and Simson.

The SECOND VOLUME OF SELECT BIOGRAPHIES will form part of the issue to the Members for the year 1846.

W. K. T.






        
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