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SOLD BY E. DUYCKINCK, COLLINS AND HANNAY, COLLINS AND CO.,

WHITE, GALLAGHER, AND WHITE, G, AND C. CARVILL, 0. A. ROOR-
BACH, E. BLISS, WM. B. GILLEY, AND WILLIAM BURGESS, JUN'R.

1828.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

448558

1 PREFACE.

TNE present volume, which is designed to take a systematic, but popular, survey of the most interesting features of the general scieNCE OF NATURE, for the purpose of elucidating what has been found obscure, controverting and correcting what has been felt erroneous, and developing, by new and original views and hypotheses, much of what yet remains to be more satisfactorily explained, derives its origin from the following circumstances :

Towards the close of the year 1810 the author had the honour of receiving a visit from a deputation of the Directors of the SURREY INSTITUTION, founded on what had been antecedently the Leverian Museum, with a request on the part of their chairman, Dr. Adam Clarke, that he would undertake a department of lectures in that literary and scientific establishment; with the generous offer of leaving to himself a nomination of time, terms, and subject. He regretted his inability of acceding to so kind a request at that particular period; but being a little more at liberty not long afterwards, he readily consented, on a second application by Dr. Lettsom and other Directors; and the ensuing volume contains the course of study he ventured to make choice of; the lectures having been divided into series, and delivered in successive years.

It was his intention to have carried the plan to a somewhat more protracted extent, though the present is sufficiently complete for the outline laid down: but, though earnestly and repeatedly pressed to proceed further, or even to go over the same lectures again, an augmented sphere of professional duties compelled hiin, with much reluctance, to decline the invitation; and the same cause has prevented him, till the present period, from fulfilling a subsequent request to submit them to the public; though he has always intended to do so as soon as he could find leisure.

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