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enjoyed the peculiar privilege of unrestrained access to the stores of original documents, as well as of anecdotes, by which this volume has been enriched. This circumstance may be a sufficient guarantee of the genuineness and interesting nature of the materials from which he has had to select; and the care bestowed in moulding them to their present form will be well repaid, if it secures a complete and accurate history of the life of one whom the common consent of mankind has now placed “ at the head of all inventors, in all ages and nations."
The checkered career of so great a man,—now dark with shadows, now bright with lights,-may well teach the stern truth,
“That life is not as idle ore,
“ And heated hot with burning fears,
“And dipp'd in baths of hissing tears, "And batter'd with the shocks of doom
“To shape and use : yet it is full of hope and encouragement to those who read its lesson aright. For it sets forth the dignity of that intel
pre-eminence, which crowns perseverance in honourable toil;—the lustre of that nobility of soul, which finds its highest scope even amid humble pursuits ;—the majesty of that wisdom, which intently, tranquilly, and reverently searches out the mysterious works and ways of Creation.
“Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
* Tennyson, 'In Memoriam,' $ cxvi.