Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. The public has some right to inquire why one who has to confess himself to be no mathematician should have undertaken the present work. To such an inquiry I may reply as follows: that although unconnected with Sir W. R. Hamilton by any tie of kindred, I became his friend in the youth of both of us, and that our friendship continued unbroken till the day of his death; that when he was applied to by the editor of the Dublin University Magazine, in 1841, to name a friend who should be requested to supply to that Magazine a biographical sketch for insertion in its Portrait Gallery of distinguished Irishmen, he did me the honour of designating me, and furnished me with the necessary facts; that he afterwards sought my consent to his nomination of me in his will as his literary executor - a nomination, however, which he told me afterwards he had thought right to withhold when he found that the remainder of my life would probably be spent in England, and that I should therefore be unable to fulfil the duties of the trust without undue inconvenience; lastly, that after his death I was asked by his sons to undertake the task, and was at the same time informed by several of the most influential of his friends that this selection met their approval, and that they were willing to trust to my judgment the correspondence over which they had control.
Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton LL, D. C, M. R. I
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