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PRINTED FOR T.LONGMAN, B. LAW AND SON, H.BALD-

WIN, G. G. J. AND J. ROBINSON, T. CADELL, R. BALD-
WIN, F. AND C. RIVINGTON, G. AND T. WILKIE,
W. GOLDSMITH, T. PAYNE, JUN. SCATCHERD AND
WHITAKER, W. LOWNDES, OGILVY AND SPEARE,
W. BENT, AND HOOKHAM AND CARPENTER,

MDCCXCIII.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY LIORA

43*241

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T is commonly said, that the life of a good writer is beft read in his works; which can scarce fail to receive a peculiar tincture from his temper, manners, and habits; the distinguishing character of his mind, his ruling passion, at least, will there appear undisguised. But however just this observation may be, and, although we might safely reft Mr. Thomson's fame, as a good man, as well as a man of genius, on this fole fooţing; yet the desire which the Public always thew of being more particularly acquainted

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with the history of an eminent author, ought not to be disappointed; as it proceeds not from mere curiosity, but chiefly from affection and gratitude to those by whom they have been entertained and instructed.

To give some account of a deceased friend is often a piece of justice likewise, which ought not to be refused to his memory; to prevent or efface the imperti. nent fictions which officious Biographers are so apt to collect and propagate. And we may add, that the circumstances of an author's life will sometimes throw the best light upon his writings; instances whereof we shall meet with in the following pages.

Mr. Thomson was born at Ednam, in the shire of Roxburgh, on the 11th of September, in the year 1700. His father, minister of that place, was but little known beyond the narrow circle of his co-presbyters, and to a few gentlemen in the neighbourhood; but highly respected by them, for his piety, and his diligence in the pastoral duty: as appeared afterwards, in their kind of fices to his widow and orphan family.

The Reverend Messrs. Riccarton and Gusthart particularly, took a most affectionate and friendly part in all their concerns. The former, a man of uncommon penetration and good taste, had very early discovered, through the rudeness of young Thomson's puerile ef

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