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Uno ore omnes omnia
Bona dicere, et laudare fortunas meas
Qui gnatum haberem tali ingenio præditum.".

* Terence. Andr. Act i. Sc. 1.

All the worla
With one accord said all kind things, and praised
My happy fortune, to possess a son
So good, so liberally disposed.

Coleman's Translation.


If the world is a stage, and human life a drama, a prefatory chapter to a biography must be as proper as a prologue to a play. The object in both cases is much the same; to establish a fair understanding between the author and his audience; in other words, by a little art and gentle preparation, to bring the spectator, or the reader, into a state of mind akin to what professors of mesmerism mean by being en rapport with their patients

. In the opera, this is accomplished by the device of the overture, which gives a sort of musical abstract of the sentiments and pas. sions of the coming performance; now melting in harmony with the amorous scenes of the story, again swelling into unison with its sterner passages; then, with a full orchestral crash, vaguely foreboding a certain catastrophe, either of a tragic or a comic nature. Upon the same principle of composition, the overture or preface to a human life ought to aim at representing, in some allusive, slight, rapid, and sketchy way, its leading vicissitudes and characteristics. Adopting the idea of an overture, we should request the reader of the following pages to imagine the orchestra thronged with a greater variety of instruments, of all sorts,

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