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THE HE volumes that are here prefented to the Public, confift of two parts: the Life of Dr. Franklin : and a Collection of Mifcellaneous Effays, the work of that
It is already known to many, that Dr. Franklin amuf ed himfelf, towards the clofe of his life, with writing memoirs of his own hiftory. Thefe memoirs were brought down to the year 1757. Together with fome other manufcripts, they were left behind him at his death, and were confidered as conftituting a part of his pofthumous property. It is a little extraordinary that, under thefe circumftances, interesting as they are, from the celebrity of the character of which they treat, and from the critical fituation of the prefent times, they fhould fo long have been withheld from the Pablic. A tranflation of them appeared in France near two years ago, coming down to the year 1731 There can be no fufficient reafon, that what has thus been fubmitted to the perufal of Europe, fhould not be made acceffible to thofe to whom Dr. Franklin's language is native. The first part of the hiftory of his life is tranflated from that publication.
The ftyle of thefe memoirs is uncommonly pleafing. The ftory is told with the most unreferved fincerity, and without any falfe colouring or ornament. We fee, in every page, that the author examined his fubject with the eye of a mefter, and related no incidents, the fprings and origin of which he did not perfectly understand. It is this that gives fuch exquifite and uncommon perfpicuity to the detail, and delight in the review. The tranflator has endeavoured, as he went along, to conceive the probable manner in which Dr. Franklin expreffed his ideas in his English manufcript, and he hopes to be forgiven if