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In Locos communes diftributus cum Indice Auctorum.
Catalogorum accuratior Notitia ita neceffaria eft Polyhiftori, ut Mapparum
Quifquis hujufmodi operis fategerit, ei non tantum multum Tadii & Laboris
Apud THO MAM OSBORNE.
S the Curiofity of Spectators, before the Sale, may produce Disorder in the Difpofition of the Books, it is neceffary to advertise the Public, that there will be no Admiffion into the Library, before the Day of Sale, which will be on Tuesday, the Fourteenth of February, 1744•
Quan 7-6-38 36583
ACCOUNT of this UNDERTAKING.
Thas been, for a long Time, a very juft Complaint, among the Learned, that a Multitude of valuable Productions, publifhed in fmall Pamphlets, or in fingle Sheets, are in a fhort Time, too often by Accidents, or Negligence, deftroyed and intirely loft; and that thofe Authors, whofe Reverence for the Public has hindered them from fwelling their Works with Repetitions, or encumbering them with Superfluities, and who, therefore, deferve the Praife and Gratitude of Pofterity, are forgotten, for the very Reafon for which they might expect to be remembered. It has been long lamented, that the Duration of the Monuments of Genious and Study, as well as of Wealth and Power, depends in no fmall Measure on their Bulk; and that Volumes, confiderable only for their Size, are handed down from one Age to another, when compendious Treatifes, of far greater Importance, are fuffered to perish, as the compacteft Bodies fink into the Water, while thofe, of which the Extenfion bears a greater Proportion to the Weight, float upon the Surface.
THIS Obfervation hath been fo often confirmed by Experience, that, in the Neighbouring Nation, the common Appellation of fmall Performances is derived from this unfortunate Circumftance; a flying Sheet, or a Fugitive Piece, are
the Terms by which they are diftinguished, and diftinguished with too great Propriety, as they are fubject, after having amufed Mankind for a While, to take their Flight and disappear for ever.
WHAT are the Loffes which the Learned have already fuftained, by having Neglected to fix thofe Fugitives in fome certain Refidence, it is not easy to fay; but there is no Doubt that many valuable Obfervations have been repeated, because they were not preferved; and that, therefore, the Progrefs of Knowledge has been retarded, by the Neceffity of doing what had been already done, but was done for those who forgot their Benefactor.
THE obvious Method of preventing these Loffes, of preferving to every Man the Reputation he has merited by long Affiduity, is to unite thefe fcattered Pieces into Volumes, that thofe, which are too small to preferve themfelves, may be secured by their Combination with others; to confolidate these Atoms of Learning into Syftems, to collect these difu nited Rays, that their Light and their Fire may become perceptible.
Of encouraging this useful Defign, the Studious and Inquifitive have now an Opportunity, which, perhaps was never offered them before, and which, if it A 2 fhould
fhould now be loft, there is not any Probability that they will ever recover. They may now conceive themselves in Poffeffion of the Lake into which all thofe Rivulets of Science have for many Years been flowing; but which unless its Waters are turned into proper Channels, will foon burft its Banks, or be difperfed in imperceptible Exhalations.
In the Harleian Library, which I have purchafed, are treafured a greater Number of Pamphlets and fmall Treatifes, than were perhips, ever yet feen in one Place; Productions of the Writers of all Parties, and of every Age, from the Reformation; collected with unbounded and unwearied
Admiralty Jurifdiction, &'c.
Curiofity, without Exclufion of any Subject.
So great is the Variety, that it has been no fmall labour to perufe the Titles, in order to reduce them to a rude Divifion, and range their Heaps under Ge neral Heads; of which the Num bers, though not yet increased by the Subdivifion which an accurate Survey will neceffarily. produce, cannot but excite theCu-, riofity of all the Studious, as there is fcarcely any Part of Knowledge, which fome of thefe Articles do, not comprehend,
THE Heads under which they. lie ranged at prefent, but ranged. without any nice Diftinction, or. regular Method, are thofe of,
Cuftoms of Divers Places in England
Cheats and Gaming
Army, Treaties relating to Stand- Chymistry
Debts and public Credit.
ing Armies, &c.
ting, Sculpture, &c.
Architecture, Antiquities, Pain- Dialling
Antiquities of England
Education and Study