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AS biography is a species of history which records the lives and characters of remarkable persons, it consequently becomes an interesting subject, and is of general utility. It would be but fair to assert, that almost every civilized nation on the globe bas, at one period or other, produced distinguished india 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 Abbe Raynal, that “America has not yet produced one good poet, one able mathematician, one man of genius, in a single art, or a single science."-"When we shall have existed as a nation," says Mr. J.“ as long as the Greeks did before they produced a Homer, the Romans a Virgil, the French a Racine and Voltaire, the English a Shakespeare and Milton, should this reproach be still true, we will inquire from 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 while liberty shall have votaries ; whose name willtriun.ph 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 forgotten hich would arrange him among the degeneracies of nature. In physics, we have produced a FRANKLIN, than whom no one of the present age has
made more important discoveries, nor has enriched philosophy with more, or more ingenious solutions of the phenomena of nature. We have supposed Mr. Rittenhouse second to no astronomer living; that in genius he must be the first, because he is selftaught,”' &c.
In philosophy, England can boast of a Bacon the most eminent 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 America claims the enlight. ened FRANKLIN, a man who has not left his equal behind 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 to add that due atten. tion has been paid in the selection of such of his productions as may be adapted to general perusal.