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1807

DistrICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:

BE it remembered, That on the ninth day of February, in the thirty-third year of the Independence of the United States of America, Frances Ames, of the said district, has depos. ited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof she claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit : “ Works of Fisher Ames. Compiled by a number of his friends. To which are prefixed, Notices of his Life and Character. Nihil tetigit quod non ornavit.”

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, ** An act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to an act entitled, “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical, and other Prints."

WILLIAM S. SHAW,
Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.

NOTICES

OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF

FISHER AMES.

MR. AMES was distinguished among the eminent men of our country. All admitted, for they felt, his extraordinary powers ; few pretended to doubt, if any seemed to deny, the purity of his heart. His exemplary life commanded respect; the charms of his conversation and manners won affection. He was equally admired and beloved.

His publick career was short, but brilliant. Called into the service of his country in seasons of her most critical emergency, and partaking in the management of her councils during a most interesting period of her history, he obtained a place in the first rank of her statesmen, legislators, orators, and patriots. By a powerful and original genius, an impressive and uniform virtue he succeeded, as fully perhaps as any political character in a republick agitated by divisions ever did, in surmounting the two pernicious vices, designated by the inimitable biographer of Agricola, insensibility to merit on the one hand, and envy on the other.

BECOMING a private citizen, he still operated extensively upon the publick opinion and feeling by conversation and

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writing. When least in the publick eye, he remained the object of enthusiastick regard to his friends, and of fond reliance and hope to those lovers of his country who discern the connection between the agency of a few and the welfare of the many ; whilst in the breasts of the community at large he engaged a sentiment of lively tenderness and peculiar respect.

The sickness which diffused an oppressive languor upon his best years, was felt to be a common misfortune ; and the news of his death, though not unexpected, gave a pang of distress to the hearts of thousands. Those inhabitants of the capital of Massachusetts who had always delighted to honour him, solicited his lifeless remains for the privilege of indulging their grief, and evincing their admiration by funeral obsequies. The sad rites being performed, those who had cherished his character and talents with such constant regard and veneration, and who felt their own and the publick loss in his death with poignant affliction, demanded a publication of his works. They urged, that it would gratify their affection, reflect honour on his name, and be a voice of instruction and warning to his country.

In compliance with their general and earnest wish this volume is given to the world. Some account of the author's life and character is thought due, if not to his fame, yet to the interest which all have in those who were born, and who have acted, as though they were born for their country and for mankind.”

He needs not our praises; he would be dishonoured by our flattery ; but he was our distinguished benefactor. We owe a record of this kind, though imperfectly executed, to our sense of his merits and services, and to our gratitude to heaven who endues some with extraordinary gifts to be employed for the benefit of others. It is the part of justice to afford to those who desire it all practicable lights to guide their judgment of an eminent man living in times and acting in situations, which expose his character to be imperfectly understood. We must pay respect to that natural and laudable curiosity of mankind, which asks an explanation of the causes that may have contributed

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