With the Author's Last Corrections and Improvements, to which is prefixed a Short Account of His Life Written by Himself
ered a moment's abatement of my spirits, inasmuch that were I to name a period of my life which I should most choose to pass over again, I might be tempted to point to this later period. I possess the same ardour as ever in study, and the same gaiety in company. I consider, besides, that a man of sixty-five, by dying, cuts off only a few years of infirmities; and though I see many symptoms of my literary reputation's breaking out at last with additional lustre, I know that I could have but few years to enjoy it. It is difficult to be more detached from life than I am at present.
To conclude historically with my own character. I am, or rather was, (for that is the style I must now use in speaking of myself, which emboldens me the more to speak my sentiments)--I was, I say, a man of mild disposition, of command of temper, of an open, social, and cheerful humour, capable of attachment, but little susceptible of enmity, and of great moderation in all my passions. Even my love of literary fame, my ruling p