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IN compiling this Life of Sir Isaac Newton, there has been considerable difficulty experienced from the scantiness of maOterials collected by preceding biographers, both as regards the particulars of the early life and the historical details of the discoveries of one of the greatest men whom England has had the honour of having produced-a person alike distinguished for the great originality and depth of his philosophic views, and the simplicity and amiableness of his character-one whom we are perhaps called on to admire more than to imitate, yet one whose virtues and piety may well serve as an example to individuals in every sphere of life.
How frequently are the lives of men of ordinary talent recorded for our instruction. It certainly must be much more interesting to follow the most exalted genius through the incidents of common life;—to remark the steps by which he attained his lofty pre-eminence ;-to observe how he performs the functions of the social and the domestic compact;-how he exercises his lofty powers of invention and discovery ;-how he comports himself in the arena of intellectual strife ;—and in what sentiments, and with what aspirations he quits the world which he has adorned. In almost all these bearings, the Jife and writings of Sir Isaac Newton abound with the richest
counsel; and in them the philosopher, the moralist, and the divine, will find instruction.
Aware that several eminent and talented authors have preceded him, the editor acknowledges himself under many obligations for much valuable information; their works are more extended, and although he unhesitatingly admits, they possess much greater merit than the present unpretending volume, yet they are also more expensive, and consequently beyond the reach of the working-classes, who are now thirsting after scientific knowledge.
The object of the present publication is to present to the world a cheap edition of the Life of Sir Isaac Newton, and it is confidently hoped that it will meet with the approbation of a liberal and enlightened public.
London, November, 1849.