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Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1846,

By ROBERT SEARS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Southern

District of New York.


13 Chambers Street, N. Y.


c7 سرے پر اعلی

T is a trite and oft-repeated observation, that “knowledge is

power.” It was this that raised Franklin from the humble station of a printer's boy to the first honors of his country; that took Sherman from his shoemaker's bench, gave him a seat in Congress, and there made his voice to be heard among the wisest and best of his compeers! It raised Simpson from the weaver's loom to a place among the first

of mathematicians, and Herschel, from being a poor fifer's boy in the army, to a station among the first of astronomers. It is the philosopher's stone — the true alchymy that turns everything it touches into gold. It is the sceptre that gives us dominion over nature ; the key that unlocks the storehouse of creation, and opens the treasures of the universe !

The prime object of this work is to disseminate this knowledge, combining useful information, fitted alike to the capacity of the child and the adult. It is intended also as a depository of valuable stores, garnered up from sources which, from their magnitude, rarity, and costliness, are as sealed fountains to the great mass of the reading community. In this volume, the choicest reading is presented in a condensed form, illustrative of HistoRY, GEOGRAPHY, the FINE ARTS, NATURAL HISTORY, AGRICULTURE and RURAL ECONOMY, ARTS AND SCIENCES, BIOGRAPHY, TRAVELS, &c.; all of which are illustrated by engravings, several hundred in number—some of which are from original drawings, made expressly for the Work ; thus adding to the interest of the text, by a direct appeal to the eye, conveying a more vivid and accurate impression of the subject than could otherwise be given. Thus the title, “INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,” it has been the aim of the editor to sustain by the nature of its contents, comprising the several branches of general knowledge, fitted to supply the means of mental improvement and self-education. “For,” says an eminent writer, "of all the amusements that can possibly be imagined for a hard-working man after his daily toil, or in its intervals, there is nothing like reading. It calls for no bodily exertion, of which he has already had enough, or perhaps too much. It relieves his home of its dulness and sameness. It transports him into a livelier and gayer, and more diversified



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