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PRINTER'S BOY, STATESMAN, PHILOSOPHER,
210. m. 777
THE life of Benjamin Franklin extended over nearly the whole of the eighteenth century, the most eventful period in the history of America. He saw the small colonies established, and the whole continent develop into great communities, and unite to form the most powerful confederation of States known in the World's History. That development he aided by his patriotism, energy, and remarkable talents; and next to that of Washington, his is the most prominent name in the history of the United States. His homely sagacity and shrewd common sense were scarcely less admirable than his penetrative intellect when explaining the mysteries of science, and his moral courage and patriotic achievements as a diplomatist. As a self-educated and self-raised man (beginning life in obscurity and rising to highest eminence), Franklin offers a grand example of what
may be achieved by the force of will. As a student of science, his remarkable discoveries gave him a high reputation, even among the philosophers of Europe; and his name is a household word in the frugal and happy homesteads of his native land, who quote the ever fresh and humorous sayings of “Poor Richard.” His biography is a remarkable narrative, and we trust it is not unworthily told.