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 Now to view as a whole so great an extent of subject matter, to harmonize and bring together so many diverse varieties of discourse, to connect smoothly what follows with what goes before, and to make all parts consonant one with another, was by no means an easy undertaking. Yet I did not desist, in spite of my age, until I had accomplished it, such as it is. It is, at any rate, written with devotion to the truth; its other qualities I leave to the judgement of my hearers.