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2-12-52 77961 Huo
BIOGRAPHY is generally admitted to be one of the most amusing and instructive subjects in the whole range of literature. It illustrates history; reveals the trifling causes of great events; renders us familiar with the character and habits of eminent individuals ; displays the consequences of human conduct, under its various modifications; and combines the fascinations of romance with the sober dignity and sterling value of truth.
A strong, and perfectly natural curiosity is felt, even as to the biography of illustrious persons who have flourished at remote periods, or in foreign climes : but their lives are destitute of that peculiar interest which is attached to those of our cotemporary fellow-countrymen, and immediate predecessors. Under this conviction, the present work has been undertaken. Its object is, to present a luminous view of men and measures during a recent and most important period of British History-namely, from the accession of George the First to the demise of George the Fourth.
In comparison with the ELIZABETHan or the Modern AUGUSTAN, (as the reign of Anne has been designated,) that which may
appropriately termed The Georgian Era, possesses a paramount claim to notice : for not only has it been equally fertile in conspicuous characters, and more prolific of great events, but its influence is actually felt by the existing community of Great Britain. It is rendered memorable by the accession of a new family to the throne ;-by the intrigues and daring exploits—the final discomfiture, romantic adventures, and great sufferings, of the Pretenders and their adherents ;by the revolt of the American colonies, and the foundation of a mighty empire in the East ;-by the awful struggles of this country with nearly all the nations of Europe, and the domestic excitement produced by the French Revolution ;-by the mutiny of the fleet,