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If this book should give you a taste for Natural History and Country Pursuits, I shall feel great pleasure; and if, further, it should lead you from the study of Nature to that of Nature's God, it will have gratified the most anxious wish of

Your affectionate MOTHER.

MAY 25, 1833.

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“ GILBERT WHITE was the eldest son of John White, of Selborne, Esq., and of Anne, the daughter of Thomas Holt, rector of Streatham in Surrey. He was born at Selborne, on July 18, 1720, and received his school education at Basingstoke, under the Rev. Thomas Warton, vicar of that place, and father of those two distinguished literary characters, Dr. Joseph Warton, master of Winchester school, and Mr. Thomas Warton, poetry professor at Oxford. He was admitted at Oriel College, Oxford, in December, 1739, and took his degree of Bachelor of Arts in June, 1743. In March, 1744, he was elected Fellow of his College. He became Master of Arts in October, 1746, and was



admitted one of the senior Proctors of the University in April, 1752. Being of an unambitious temper, and strongly attached to the charms of rural scenery, he early fixed his residence in his native village, where he spent the greater part of his life in literary occupations, and especially in the study of Nature. This he followed with a patient assiduity, and a mind ever open to the lessons of piety and benevolence, which such a study is so well calculated to afford. Though several occasions offered of settling upon a college living, he could never persuade himself to quit the beloved spot, which was indeed a peculiarly happy situation for an observer. Thus his days passed tranquil and serene, with scarcely any other vicissitudes than those of the seasons, till they closed at a mature age on June 26, 1793.”

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