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On Self Praise
THE volume that is here presented to the Pub. lic, consists of two parts: the Life of Dr. Franklin ; and a Collection of Miscellaneous Essays, the work of that author.
It is already known to many, that Dr. Franklin amused himself, towards the close of his life, with writing memoirs of his own history. These memoirs were brought down to the year 1757. Together with some other manuscripts they were left behind him at his death, and were considered as constituting a part of his posthumous property. It is a little extraordinary that, under these circumstances, interesting as they are, from the celebrity of the character of which they treat, and from the critical situation of the present times, they should so long have been withheld from the public. A translation of them appeared in France near two years ago, coming down to the year 1731. There can be no sufficient reason, that what has been submitted to the perusal of Europe, should not be made accessible to those to whom Dr. Franklin's language is native. The first part of the history of his life is translated from that publication.
The style of these memoirs is uncommonly pleasing. The story is told with the most unreserved sincerity, and without any false coloring or ornament. We see, in every page, that the author examined his subject with the eye of a master, and related noincidents, the springs and origin of which he did not perfectly underatand. It is this that gives such exquisite and uncom