It has never been my practice to introduce myself to distinguished persons, or to attempt in any way to attract their attention, and I now regret that I did not embrace some opportunities which occurred to me in early life for doing so; but at the time I knew the men whom I have described in the present volume I had no expectation that I should ever write about them. My acquaintance with them, however, has served to give me a more elevated idea of human nature than I otherwise might have acquired in the ordinary course of mundane affairs, and it is with the hope of transmitting this impression to my readers that I publish the present account. Some of them have a world-wide celebrity, and others who were distinguished in their own time seem likely now to be forgotten; but they all deserve well of the republic of humanity and of the age in which they lived.

The Evergreens, January 4, 1905.

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