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NOTICE TO THE READER.

This Second Series of “Eminent Men and Popular Books” is reprinted from the Times Newspaper, in consequence of the encouraging reception of its predecessor. It is intended, like the former volume, for popular reading, and comprises such articles only of recent Biography and Literary Criticism, as may be presumed, from their subjects, to be generally interesting

February, 1860.

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JAMES WATT.*

IN reviewing some time since the life of George Stephenson, we commented on the omission, so much to be regretted, which has left us without an adequate biography of James Watt. It is impossible now to do that for his memory which might have been done in his lifetime, had any one familiar with his labours, his character, and his habits, set forth a presentment of his story in sufficiently vivid colours. The little that was done with this intent may, however, be added to later investigations, and the information obtainable from scattered reminiscences may be of further use in the hands of a writer scientifically competent to the subject. Nevertheless, there must be much which the world was entitled to know respecting one of its greatest benefactors, but which is now lost irrecoverably. Mr. Muirhead, his kinsman, the friend and executor of his son, and the son-in-law of the late Mr. Boulton, has, doubtless, the best share of the

* “The Life of James Watt, with Selections from his Cor. respondence.” By JAMES PATRICK MUIRHEAD, M.A., &c. Murray, 1858. [From the Times of April 27 and May 12, 1859.]

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