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PRINTED FOR SAINSBURY AND CO., SALISBURY SQUARE;

AND SOLD BY

LONGMAN AND CO., PATERNOSTER-ROW,

AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.

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206 M538.9 S 193 m 1827

PREFACE

TO THE

SECOND EDITION.

It is one of the most admirable and consolatory provisions of nature, that few circumstances can exist so, altogether uncongenial and depressive as to wholly extinguish the fire of original genius, or altogether impede general aptitude of an exalted description. Of this grateful truth a more striking instance can scarcely be afforded than that which is supplied by the Memoirs of Moses Mendelsohn. Few more impressive examples exist of the nurture of an elevated and philosophic mind amidst obstacles so utterly unfavourable to its development. Born a member of a peculiar and discouraged people, with much to encounter from the bigotry and prejudices of a portion of his own tribe, and still more from the kindred failings of those who despised and oppressed it; labouring under poverty and a weak constitution, farther debilitated by incessant mental exertion, this extraordinary man not only advanced himself to general respectability by the purity and elevation of his philosophic views, but to an equality and companionship with the leading intellectual spirits of his age and country. In this point of view the Life of Mendelsohn stands beautifully distinguished, and claims the peculiar attention of all to whom the study of human nature, in its more attractive varieties, is at once a means of instruction and a source of pleasure.

But in addition to the value of the following pages, as forming the biography of a highly-gifted and distinguished in

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