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CONVERSATIONS ON RELIGION,
HELD IN CEPHALONIA, A SHORT TIME PREVIOUS TO HIS
BY THE LATE
JAMES KENNEDY, M.D.
OF H. M. MEDICAL STAFF.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE-STREET.
As a natural introduction of the following pages to the general reader, it may be necessary to prefix some short sketch of the life and character of the lamented individual, who, by a coincidence of circumstances, was thrown into contact with Lord Byron during his lordship's residence in Cephalonia, preparatory to his proceeding to Greece, where he terminated his life.
Dr. Kennedy received his education in Edinburgh. His views were originally directed towards the bar, in preparation for which he gave himself up to habits of close study and application, which accompanied him through life. At the same time, however, that he was prosecuting a course of reading which would have fitted him for the law, his thirst for general knowledge led him to attend also the medical classes of the University; so that when the earnest advice of his friends, in
consideration of a constitution not adapted to a sedentary life, induced him at length to abandon his original purpose, he had already laid a foundation for the profession which he ultimately adopted. Talents of no common order enabled him advantageously to follow up his medical studies; and it may with truth be said, that he rose to a high standing in his profession, and was eminently successful in its exercise; whilst the gentleness of his manners, and the genuine kindness of his heart, qualifications so essential to a physician, conciliated the esteem and confidence of those to whom his medical services were rendered.
For several years after his obtaining an appointment in his Majesty's service, he was stationed in different parts of the United Kingdom, until he was ordered to the Mediterranean, where he passed between six and seven years. Of these, the first three were spent in the island of Malta, where his judgment and conduct were often shewn under circumstances of difficulty. In November, 1822, he was called to Corfu, and passed the remainder of this period among the Ionian Islands, being stationed succes