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PREFACE.

IN

the year 1796 the Society received the following Letter.

"GENTLEMEN,

"As Executors to the late WILLIAM "BENSON EARLE, of the Close of Sarum, Efq. we have tranfmitted to you the "following Extract of his Will.

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"I give and bequeath to the Prefident " and Members of the Society in London, "established for the Encouragement of "Arts, Manufactures, &c. for the time "being, the fum of two hundred guineas, "in truft, that they refpectively do apply "the whole of the faid fum of two hun"dred guineas, or the annual interest of the fame, at their difcretion, in the purA 2 "chafe

"chase of Books for the Public Library of "the faid refpectable Society.

"We are, Gentlemen,

"Your humble Servants,

J. SKINNER.

"EDMUND BENSON."

66

"Sarum, April 6, 1796.

"The Prefident and Members of "the Society for Arts and Ma"nufactures, London."

In confequence of this bequeft, the Society, willing to tranfmit to pofterity the refemblance of their Benefactors, having applied to the Gentlemen above named, Executors to Mr. Earle, have obtained from them a Drawing, which is faid to have been, at the time it was taken, a very good likeness of him: from this Drawing, the Print, which ferves as a Frontispiece to this Volume, has been engraved; and, it is prefumed, the Public will hereby fee what attention the Society pay to those who shall contribute to encourage and fupport the views and intention of the Institution.

As

As the difpofition of the various parts which conftitute the Volumes of the Tranfactions of this Society, and which has been followed during fome years, is found fully to answer the end proposed, no alteration is made therein it may, therefore, be unneceffary to say more on that head, but proceed to state to the Reader the new Objects of Reward which have this Seffion been adopted, and give some reasons for the introduction of them.

At Class 100, under the head of Agriculture, a new Premium will be found for harvesting Corn in Wet Weather. It is many years fince the Society first offered a Premium for difcovering a Method of making Hay in Wet Weather; and however difficult the accomplishing that end may appear, yet the ineftimable advantages the Public would receive, if a good means of doing it could be discovered, and the pleafing reflexion, that many things, formerly thought impracticable, have of late years, from the improvements in mechanical and chemical knowledge, been reA 3 duced

duced to practice, has induced the Society to offer a Reward for Harvesting Corn in unpropitious seasons, an object peculiarly interesting to mankind in general, and more particularly fo to this kingdom. Let us therefore hope, that, by the perfeverance of the Society, and the ingenuity of the Public, fome methods may be found to alleviate thofe inconveniences which this country, from its infular fituation, is fo peculiarly fubjected to.

In a former Volume of thefe Tranfactions, it has been clearly proved, by the moft fatisfactory evidence, that Opium of the finest quality has been, and confequently may be, produced in this climate. It remains therefore now to try, whether it can be obtained in fuch quantity, and at fuch price, as may make it an article of trade to afcertain this fact, the Society have, in this Volume, firft offered Premiums for preparing Opium in large quantities, in England. When the great importance of this drug in medicine, and the abominable adulterations it is liable to, are confidered,

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