Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/14

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xiv
PREFACE.

Professor of the College of France has raised to himself a name no less celebrated as the author of the Histoire des Langues Sémitiques, than his rival did by his publication of the Ssabier und der Ssabismus. Born in Brittany in 1823, he was educated for holy orders, and all his impulses are essentially the results of that education, though very early he found that he could not pursue his studies for the priesthood with a clear conscience. Since the age of twenty-four, when in 1847 he gained the Volney prize for his essay on the Shemitic languages, he has devoted himself to letters, and ranks as one of the greatest French writers now living. Under the present Emperor of the French he has been employed to carry out researches in Phœnicia, and is at this moment engaged in preparing for press a great work on Phœnician An-