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Author's Preface-His ancestors-Doctor Richard CumberlandDoctor Richard
Bentley--Swift's Battle of the Books-Anecdotes of Bentley-Collins-His controversy with Bentley-Roger Cotes-Character of Bentley—Mrs. Bentley -Richard Bentley, the younger-His connection with Horace WalpoleCharacter of Walpole-Elizabeth Bentley-Joanna Bentley, Cumberland's mother-Author's reflections---His boyhood-His teacher, Arthur KinsmanAnecdote of-Cumberland at school-Joshua Barnes--Warburton-Death of Dr. Bentley--Cumberland's success in his studies--Attempts English verse -His home--His mother forms his taste in poetry-Goes to WestminsterVincent Bourne-Warren Hastings--Colman-Hinchliffe, Smith, and Vincent
Dr. Nichols Execution of Lords Kilmarnock and Balmerino-Anecdote of Selwyn--Progress of the rebels-Westminster school-Eton school-Edmund Ashby-Cumberland goes to the play-Garrick-Death of Cumberland's sister-Enters Trinity College.
Ar the close of the year 1804, whilst I am still in possession of my faculties, though full of years, I sit down to give a history of my life and writings. I do not undertake the task lightly, and without deliberation; for I have weighed the difficulties, and am prepared to meet them. I have lived so long in this world, mixed so generally with mankind, and written so voluminously and so variously, that I trust my motives cannot be greatly misunderstood, if, with strict attention to truth, and in simplicity of style, I pursue my narrative, saying nothing more of the immediate object of these memoirs, than in honor and in conscience I am warranted to say.
I shall use so little embellishment in this narrative that, if the reader is naturally candid he will not be disgusted; if he is easily amused he will not be disappointed.