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THE principal authorities for the biographical details in the following pages were communicated to me by Dr. Robertson's eldest son, Mr. William Robertson, Advocate. To him I am indebted, not only for the original letters with which he has enabled me to gratify the curiosity of my readers, but for every other aid which he could be prompted to contribute, either by regard for his father's memory, or by friendship for myself.
My information with respect to the earlier part of Dr. Robertson's life was derived almost entirely from one of his oldest and most valued friends, the Rev. Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk.
It is proper for me to add, that this memoir was read at different meetings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
During the long interval which has elapsed since it was composed, a few sentences have been occasionally inserted, in which a reference is made to later criticisms on Dr. Robertson's writings. I mention this circumstance, in order to account for some slight anachronisms. DUGALD STEWART.
COLLEGE OF EDINBURGH,
16th May, 1801.