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IN THE LIVES OF EMINENT STATESMEN, INVENTORS,
SOLDIERS, DISCOVERERS, PHILANTHROPISTS,

POETS, AUTHORS, TRAVELLERS,

AND OTHERS.

BY JAMES PARTON.

NEW YORK :

JOHN B. ALDEN, PUBLISHER,

1883.

H1138.83

HARVARO COLLEGE (may 12, 1925)

LIBRARY

Janues Sturgis Pray

Copyright 1856 and 1881, by JAMES PARTON AND JOHN D, WILLIAMS.

Copyright 1883, by John B, ALDEN.

PREFACE.

BIOGRAPHY, which is the most ancient kind of composition with which we are acquainted, remains to this day the most interesting. Fiction itself, and the drama not less, as well as the highest forms of epic poetry, derive their value from their biographic truth, and their interest from the insatiable desire which men have to know how it has fared with their fellows.

"Van alone,” says a great poet, “is interesting to man.” It is true, that we can acquire a taste for branches of science which only remotely affect the condition of our species, or do not affect it at all; but this is, in a certain sense, an unnatural taste, - something acquired, like the preference which some persons have for repulsive flavors and outlandish forms. Speaking of the natural tastes of our kind, we can still say with Goethe, “Man alone is interesting to man.”

Any volume, therefore, in which lives of inen are recorded with any degree of fulness or vivacity, is sure to meet with a certain welcome from the reading public.

In the work now presented, the reader will find some account, more or less extensive, of a considerable number of the most remarkable men who have ever lived. The word “interesting," as applied in the title page to the persons treated in this work, was used designedly, and gives the true reason why these persons were selected in preference to others. As a portion of these sketches were written for young people, it was obviously necessary for me to confine myself to such subjects as furnished a curious and interesting

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