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HOME > Biographical > Life of Edwin Forrest > PREFATORY NOTE.
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 The Author of the following work apologizes for the delay of its publication on the ground of long-continued ill health which unfitted him for mental labor. He has tried to make amends by sparing no pains in his effort to do justice to the subjects treated. The plan of the ensuing biography is that of a philosophical history, which adds to the simple narrative of events a discussion of the causes and teachings of the events. The writer has interspersed the mere recital of personal facts and incidents with studies of the principal topics of a more general nature intimately associated with these, and has sought to enforce the lessons they yield. His aim in this has been to add to the descriptive interest of the work more important moral values. The thoughtful reader, who seeks improvement and is interested in the fortunes of his kind, will, it is believed, find these episodes attractive; and the frivolous reader, who seeks amusement alone, need not complain of disquisitions which he can easily skip.
The author foresees that some opinions advanced will be met with prejudice and disfavor, perhaps with angry abuse. But as he has written in disinterested loyalty to truth and humanity, attacking no entrenched notion and advocating no revolutionary one except from a sense of duty and in the hope of doing a service, he will calmly accept whatever odium the firm statement of his honest convictions may bring. Society in the present phase of civilization is full of tyrannical errors and wrongs against which most persons are afraid even so much as to whisper. To remove these obstructive evils, and exert
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 an influence to hasten the period of universal justice and good will for which the world sighs, men of a free and enlightened spirit must fearlessly express their thoughts and breathe their philanthropic desires into the atmosphere. If their motives are pure and their views correct, however much a prejudiced public opinion may be offended and stung to assail them, after a little while their valor will be applauded and their names shine out untarnished by the passing breath of obloquy. It is, Goethe said, with true opinions courageously uttered as with pawns first advanced on the chess-board: they may be beaten, but they have inaugurated a game which must be won.

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