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PREFACE.

It will easily be imagined that a book which is to contain within the compass of some three hundred pages, the biographies of FIFTY MEN, cannot descend greatly to detail. Indeed it has been found necessary to speak rather of the men than of their works,—to notice their general influence on the history of the world, rather than criticize the individual merits and services of each. In preparing this little volume, the object steadily kept in view throughout has been to crowd as much information as possible within the narrow limits afforded. Thus, no fact has been inserted that was not thoroughly authenticated; no anecdote told that rested upon mere hearsay ; no opinion advanced that time and experience have not endorsed. To put before the reader the names of certain great men,—to indicate the nature of their trials and disappointments, and the extent of their services,—to bring forward before the student the

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claims of some of whom perhaps he had never heard, and to endeavour to excite an interest in the struggles and fate of these eminent toilers in the human hive, --thus far and no farther the book has attempted to go; and if the indulgent reader-his attention awakened by the unvarnished narrative here offered—be urged on to seek for fuller information and further knowledge of the lives so briefly indicated here, and to follow up that most profitable and fascinating study comprised in the perusal of the detailed lives of great and heroic men, the object of the author will have been fully attained.

The method of grouping the names in classes has been considered preferable to the usual manner of presenting them in chronological order. By the former way, they are made to linger in the memory, , as each name suggests kindred ones. The end of the work has been to show once more, in the experience of the great ones of the earth, the oft-demonstrated truth so forcibly asserted in the lines of Longfellow

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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

MEN OF ENTERPRISE AND DARING.

PAGE

Columbus-Pizarro--Sir Humphrey Gilbert-Sir Walter Raleigh-Sir

Francis Drake-John Davis, etc. etc.

1

CHAPTER II.

GREAT POETS.

Homer-Dante-Chaucer-Spenser-Shakspeare-Milton, etc.

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Charles XII.

Alexander Cæsar - Charlemagne Coeur de Lion

Frederick the Great-Napoleon Bonaparte

66

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