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CHAMBERS'S

INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE.

NEW AND IMPROVED EDITION.

EDITED BY

WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS,

EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S EDINBURGI JOURNAL, EDUCATIONAL COURSE, &c.

VOLUME I.

CEDINBURGH:

PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

1842.

Cyc 347.5

157), il 28.

Pinsidente
Toon Charles Seniorer,
C Bostona

18300)

Elec. I., II.)

EDINBURGH:
W. AND R. CHAMBERS.

PREFACE.

Waile little doubt can be entertained as to the value of the greater part of the works published in this country as Encyclopædias or Dictionaries of General Knowledge, it must be equally clear that they are unfitted by their size and price for the libraries of a large portion of the middle and the whole of the working classes. The publication of the Library of Useful Knowledge was a laudable attempt, a few years ago, to supply such a book for those classes; yet even that excellent series proved too dear and too bulky, to reach so far down in society as was desired.

In the present publication, an effort has been made to place a work of the character of an encyclopædia really within the reach of the working-classes and those next above them.

The plan on which the work is formed is to select only the subjects on which it is important that the classes in question should be informed. The minutiæ of biography and topography, scientific technicalities, and other matters to which there may be only need for occasional reference, are dismissed, and thus what usually fills up the greater part of an encyclopædia is at once got quit of. There only remains a series of articles on the most important branches of science, physical, mathematical, and moral, natural history, political history, geography, and literature, together with a few miscellaneous papers, which seem to be called for by peculiar circumstances affecting the British people. Thus all is given which, if studied and received into the mind, would make an individual of those classes a well-informed man; while, with few exceptions, only that is omitted which is not needed as part of the standing knowledge of any person whatever, besides those for whom it may have a professional or local interest. It will be understood, then, that the “ INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE” is not meant as an encyclopædia unfailing in reference for all departments of human knowledge, but as an encyclopædia including such knowledge only as tends to improve every mind possessing it—such knowledge as expands, liberates, and fertilises—with the addition of only a very few articles of which the interest and value are of a more limited nature. The ruling object has been to give what may be expected to prove the means of self-education to all such of the humbler classes of society as are debarred from the receipt of knowledge in more favourable circumstances.

It would have been quite possible to produce such a work, unexceptionable as far as the selection and treatment of subjects were concerned, but which should nevertheless have reached few of those for whom it was designed. Such would have necessarily been the effect of an unsuitable form and price. Here, as in the case of their JOURNAL, the editors found it necessary to disregard all common ideas as to what constitutes dignity in the externals of books. In reality, these ideas are merely relative, and there is not perhaps one solid argument which could be used in support of them, however serviceable they may be in supplying puerile wits with matter of silly ridicule. But, whatever they were, it was necessary, if the INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE was ever to reach its destination, that it should be published in detached sheets, and these bearing a very small price. The plan accordingly followed has proved remarkably successful, the average sale of the various numbers of the work having been, throughout the first year, nearly serenty thousand! It is to be hoped that it may thus have proved the means of carrying a knowledge of many things into regions where such knowledge would have never, but for this or similar undertakings, found its way. The editors are at the same time deeply sensible that even this work, great as its success has been, must leave a vast substratum of society totally untouched. At the very best, it addresses itself only to those who can read. The public must be reminded that there are great multitudes who do not possess this accomplishment, and for whom, of course, popular encyclopædias exist as much in vain as light does for the blind. And not only is this great class forbidden all benefit from such works, but there are probably greater multitudes who, though able to read, are, from want of intellectual cultivation, so devoid of all aptitude for knowledge, as to be nearly as little likely to profit from the stores here placed within their reach as those who never yet learned the alphabet. All attempts of this kind to send down light into the lower regions of society, must more or less fail from these causes-causes which will, of course, continue to exist, till we shall see an end put to the great disgrace of our age, the want of a natioval system of education,

EDINBURGH, November 3, 1841.

CONTENTS.

No.

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1
17
33

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INDEX.

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Page
Aberdeen, city of,

239 Bethany, village of,
Account of The Human Body, 545-560 Bethlehem, town of,
Acre, city of,

86 | Bible and Christianity,
Africa, description of,

46 Bible, modern history of the,
Age and infancy,

Bills of exchange,
Agincourt, battle of,

133 Bimana, order of the,
Air,

610, 657 Birds, natural history of,
Aix-la-Chapelle, peace of,

159 Bishops of early church,
Alcibiades, life of,

103 | Black Prince, life of the,
Alexander the Great, life of,"

105 Blood and blood-vessels of man,
Alexandria, city of,

70 Bodily exercise, .
Alluvium,

31 | Boiling of meat,
America, description of,

47 Bolivia, state of,
America, South,

337 Bombay, account of,
American race, the,

52 | Bonaparte, Napolcon,
American Stamp Act, the,

161 Boodhism,
American War of Independence, 162 Botany, systems of,
American War of 1812, the,

172 Bourbons restored in France,
Americans, manners of the,

333 | Brahminism,
Amphibia, natural history of,

488 Brain and nerves of man,
Anatomy of Man,

515 Brazil, province of,
ANCIENT History-Egypt, 65-80 Britain, army and navy of,
ANCIENT HISTORY OF GREECE AND Britain, colonies of,
Rome,

97-112 Britain, education in,
Anger,

618 Britain, finances of,
Anglo-Saxon Superstitions,

755 Britain, laws of,
Animal kingdom, history of,

449 Britain, manufactures of,
Animals, classes of,

449 Britain, Norman conquest of,
Animals, design shown in,

581 Britain, Roman conquest of,
Anne, reign of Queen,

155 Britain, Saxon conquest of,
Antigua, account of,

359 Britain, statistics of,
Apocrypha, the,

598 British islands,
Apostles' creed,

605 British tea-trade,
Arabia-Petræa, history of,

95 Broiling of meat,
Arctic Seas, the,

409 Bruce, reign of Robert,
Argyleshire, description of,

232

Buds,
Armada, defeat of the,

138 Buenos Ayres, account of,
Articulata, sub-kingdom of the, 497 Buffalo, natural history of,
Asia, description of,

45 Burdett, case of Sir Francis,
Asiatic nations, the, .

46
Askelon and Gaza, cities of,

86 Cæsar, life of Julius,
ASTRONOMY,

1-16 Cæsars, the twelve,
Astronomy, descriptive, .

i Cairo, city of,
Astronomy, mechanical,

10 Calcutta, city of,
Athenian independence, loss of, 104 Cana of Galilee,
Athens, history of,

100 Canada, description of,
Attraction, law of,

10 Canals,
Australasia, description of,

47 | Canals of the United States,
Australia, description of,

289 Canon-canonical,
Australia, emigration to,

289 Canon law, the,
Austria, description of,

42 Cape Breton, island of,
Austrian Italy,

40 Capital,

Carboniferous strata,
Bahamas, account of the,

360 | Cares, effect of,
Baking of ment,

773 Carnarvon Castle,
Balbec, ruins of,

94 Carnivorous animals,
Banks,

683 Cathedrals of England,
Bannockburn, battle of,

132 Catholics, emancipation of, .
Barbadoes, account of,

358 Caucasian race, the,
Barbuda and Anguilla,

360 Celtic race, the,
Basalt,

32 Cephrenes, pyramid of,
Becket, death of,

131 Chalk rocks,
Bee, natural history of,

607 Charlemagne, life of,
Belfast, town of,

253 Charles I., reign of,
Belgium, description of, .

44 Charles I., execution of,
Bengal, account of,

379 Charles II., reign of,
Bermudas, account of the,

360 | Charlotte, marriage of Princess,

Page

Page
90 Chelsea, hospital of,

219
90 Chili, province of,

316
593 CHINA AND THE TEA TRADE, 385-400
600 Chinese, account of the,

391
682 Chivalry, institution of,

121
454 Christianity,

602
470 Church, history of the,
603 Church of England, the,

183
132 Civil wars in England,

143
547 | Clay, plastic,

27
063 Cleanliness,

610, 662
774 Climates, adaptation of man to, 558
317 Clyde, firth of,

232
Coined money,
166 Colombia, state of,

348
741 Colonies in Australasia,

289
574 Colonisation of New Zealand,

317
172 Columbus, discoveries of,

353
738 Comets,

5
549 COMMERCE-MONEY-BANKS, 673-688
349 Commercial terms and transactions, 676
182 Commons, house of,

178
187 Commonwealth, the English,

146
185 Compass, invention of the,

126
179 Compass, use of the,

412
186 Compensations in nature,

587
188 Confections,

783
130 Connaught, province of, .

254
129 Constantinople, Turkish conquest of, 125
129 CONSTITUTION AND RESOURCES OF
192 THE BRITISH EMPIRE, 177-192
36 Consumption of produce,

718
308 CONVEYANCE - ROADS - CANALS ---
773
RAILWAYS,

433.448
132 Cookery, .

769
568 Cork, city of,

230
343 Courts, English,

701
468 Covenanters, the Scottish,

150
171 Covenant of Scotland, national,

141
Cressy and Poitiers,

132
109 Cretaceous group of rocks,

27
110 Crocodiles and alligators,
70 Cromwell, acts of,

145
381 Crusades, the,

119
93 Currents of the ocean,

402
257
442 Damascus, city of,

94
325 Dark ages, history of the,

113
590 Darnley, murder of,

137
693 David I., reign of,

130
263 Dead Sea, the,

91
706 Degrading geological causes,

18
24 Deities, Pagan,

97
670 | Dendera, account of,

74
200 Denmark, description of,

43
459 Derbyshire caverns, the,

198
208 Derwentwater Lake,

198
175 DESCRIPTION OF East INDIES, 369-384
49 DESCRIPTION OF ENGLAND, 193-208

DESCRIPTION OF IRELAND, 241-256
72 DESCRIPTION OF SCOTLAND, 225 240
27 DESCRIPTION OF SOUTH AME-
116 RICA,

337-352
141 DESCRIPTION OF THE UNITED
145 STATES,

321-336
147

DESCRIPTION OF West Indies, 363 368
173 Design in external nature,

581

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