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PREFACE

BY THE EDITOR.

AS biography is a species of history which record to the lives and characters of remarkable persons it consequently becomes an interesting subject, arid is of general utility. It would be but fair to assert, that alınost every civilized riation on the globe has, at one period or other, produced distinguished indto viduals in various stations of life.

Mr. Jefferson, the President of the United States of America, in his “Notes on Virginia,' thus speaks in answer to the assertion of the Abbé Rayned, ena? “ America has not yet produced one gond jet; one able mathematician, one nan of genius, in a single art, or a single science."-"When weshall hqve exist. isted as a nation," says Mr. J. "asiong 26 ihe.Greeks did before they produced a Homer, the Roivans a Virgil, the French a kacineata Vonaire, the Englisa a Shakespeare and Milton; should tắis repinach be still true, we will inquire fom what unfriendly causes it has proceeded, that the other countries of Europe and quarters of the earth shall not have inscribed any name in the roll of poets. In war we have produced a Washington, whose memory will be adored whil liberty shall have votaries; whose name will triungo over time, and will in future ages assume its just station among the most celebrated worthies of the world, when that wretched philosophy shall be for gotten which would arrange him among the degene racies of nature. In physics, we have produced a FRANKLIN, than whom no one of the present age has

made more important discoveries, nor has enrichom pnilosophy with inore, or more ingenious solutions of the phenomena of nature. We have supposed Mr. Rittcnhouse second to no astronomer living; that in genius be must be the first, because he is selftaught," &c.

In philosophy, England can boast of a Bacon the most emineni professor in this science the world has ever produced. The Essays of this great writer is one of the best proofs we can adduce of his tran scendent abilities; and Anerica claims the enlight ened FRANKLIN, a man who has not left his equal bo. hind him, and whose Life and Writings are the subject of the following sheets.

To say more in this place of our Author, would be anticipating what is hereafter mentioned: it will therefore only be necessary in add, that due attention has been paid in the selection of such of his pro ductious as may be adapted to general perusal.

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