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I UNDERTOOK the inquiry of which this volume is the result, after reading the recent work of M. de Canclolle, i in which he analyses the salient events in the history of 200 scientific men who have lived during the two past centuries, deducing therefrom many curious conclusions which well repay the attention of thoughtful readers. It so happened that I myself had been leisurely engaged on a parallel but more extended investigation-namely, as regards men of ability of all descriptions, with the view of supplementing at some future time my work on Hereditary Genius. The object of that book

1 " Histoire des Sciences et des Savants depuis deux Siecles." Par Alphonse de Candolle. Corr. lust. Acad. Sc. de Paris, &c. Geneve, 1873.