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HE present Volume is intended to furnish a very general view of the leading appearances of Physical Nature—the economy of the heavens and the earth-with incidental notices of the progress of discovery, and pictorial representations of remarkable phenomena and interesting localities. Regarding it as one of the happy tendencies of the age, to be more in favour of intellectual occupations than of
the vulgar animal recreations that were formerly courted, the writer has endeavoured to supply a digest of the knowledge obtained respecting the “ wondrous whole," of which we form a part, which the enterprise of the proprietors of the work has profusely illustrated.
In submitting the accomplishment of this design to the judgment of the public, the writer may be allowed to observe, that he was called to the task at a very short notice; that disadvantageous circumstances, which could neither be foreseen nor avoided, have much interfered with its execution; but that he has honestly endeavoured, amid professional engagements, and oft-recurring physical debility, to carry out the design of the projectors.
The extensive sale experienced by Milner's GALLERY OF NATURE since its first publication, a few years ago, is the best proof of the happy adaptation of the book to its object; which was to convey to the popular mind—to the young in particular -a general idea of the external Wonders of the Heavens and the Earth. Written in an easy and agreeable style, and profusely illustrated, it may fairly be said to have gained a position above all the similar works of its day. To sustain its place as a favourite Gift-book and useful member of the Village Library, it seems only necessary that it should be kept, in all particulars, in harmony with the present state of Science.
The Work has now accordingly been carefully and thoroughly revised by the Author, with the advantage of all recent additions and corrections supplied by modern investigators, and with the further benefit of a considerable number of new illustrations.
W. & R. C.