PAST AND PRESENT have each their independent significance. The past gives freely to us the experiences of others, the present a suitable opportunity to improve upon what has already occurred. With our observation and acceptance of these privileges so easily obtained, we reap the benefit of their advantages and unconsciously find ourselves the gainers both in capacity and intelligence. A history of the past, giving the record of events and circumstances existing before our own day, bringing to our knowledge the accomplishments, business enterprises and undertakings of our predecessors, is a profitable study, and the reader gratifies his curiosity in observing how differently things were conducted and managed a century ago as compared with the processes of the present day, exciting a sense of wonder at the rapid progress that has been made in a comparatively short period of time. Think of it quite within the lifetime of many of us have been the most wonderful of inventions-the steam engine, steam vessels, the telegraph and other wonders and triumphs of electricity. The wildest fancy may not be styled visionary in anticipating the appearance of things still more surprising.
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