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children ; especially to my two Sons, Matthew and Gabriel Hale, and to my three Daughters, Anne, Mary, and Frances Hale, all Children of my eldest Son Robert Hale, and Frances his Wife, both deceased." These all survived their grandfather. The three girls died at the ages of 16, 17, and 18 years.

The Four Letters of Sir Matthew Hale to his own Children are now, for the first time, presented to the public in a handsome volume, and with the text comparatively free from errors. For subject and style, and it is hoped for accuracy and elegance, the work deserves to be considered as a standard English classic, fit for the instruction of youth, and the edification of all men.

The Account of the Good Steward being the work of the same hand, is added to the Letters, with the view of rendering them more complete. It is pleasing to see all those precepts which are enforced in the former part of the volume, embodied, and

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reduced to practice in this latter treatise, which, as it contains a summary of the whole faith and duty of a Christian, has been adjudged by many to be little more than a portrait of its estimable author.

The materials for the Memoir prefixed to this edition, were drawn chiefly from the excellent Life of Sir Matthew Hale, by Bishop Burnet, and from the Appendix to that account, written by Mr. Richard Baxter. The length and minute detail of

. both those articles, prevented the Editor from reprinting them, as he wished, in their original form.




A LIFE of extraordinary incidents, and continual action, forms the most interesting subject of biography; but the most useful example is often met with in


different situations. Of this we have an instance the Memoirs of Sir Matthew Hale, which exhibit few circumstances of striking occurrence; but as they give a portrait of one who faithfully discharged all the duties of his station, who lived in the practice of every virtue, and whose conduct is of universal application as a rule of life for others, scarcely any have a better claim to the reader's attention.


He was born on the first of November, 1609; at Alderley, in Gloucestershire. His father had practised as a barrister; but from a tenderness of conscience, which, even if unfounded, can never be too highly respected, he retired from the profession of the law: he could not reconcile himself to the custom of setting up false pleas, which, as he thought, was to tell a lie ; and in the legal character, as it seemed to him, there were many other things required, which were incompatible with the duties of a Christian.


Matthew Hale lost his mother when he was only three years old, and his excellent father died in two years after. But some kind relations took charge of the orphan; and if a good education were the only advantage he could have derived from the longer life of his parents, the care of these new friends to have him properly instructed, left him no room to regret his loss. But there is an influence in the person of every father, which neither he can forfeit, nor his child

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can disregard. The infant naturally imbibes a love and respect for that being, under whose protection he feels safe ; in whose wisdom he places his reliance ; whose smiles are his reward; and whose displeasure is the only thing he dreads. So far from being able to make comparisons, to approve what is right, and to shun what is otherwise, the child has a sacred feeling towards his father, which prevents him from conceiving even a thought to his disparagement. In his estimation he is not so much the best, as the only perfect being in the world. Fathers should consider this, and for the sake of their offspring should preserve appearances at least; for it is a melancholy day for both, when the veil is rent, and the conviction flashes on the mind of the child, that the conduct of a parent must be no longer his example.

Had his father lived, Matthew Hale would have had, in addition to a good education, the advantage of an admirable model

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