« AnteriorContinua »
NATURE AND ART;
A TOUR THROUGH CREATION AND SCIENCE.
BY THE REV. EDWARD POLEHAMPTON,
FELLOW OF KING'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE ;
Assisted by Distinguished Writers in the various Departments of the Worki
ILLUSTRATED WITH ONE HUNDRED PLATES,
FROM NEW DESIGNS, DESCRIPTIVE OF THE WONDERS OF NATURE AND ART
BENEATH AM, WITH NEW WONDER, NOW EL VIEWS,
IN SIX VOLUMES,
PRINTED BY R. WILKS, 89, CHANCE RY LANE;
BOND-STREET; UNDERWOOD, FLEET-STREET ;
AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
As the boundaries of Science extend, the Discoveries and Curiosities it develops extend also; and as these boundaries have of late years been extended in every direction, it is become impossible for the great body of mankind, or indeed for any one who does not professionally surrender the whole of his life to literary pursuits, to follow up and store in his memory the multiplied facts or discoveries of an amusing, interesting, or extraordinary nature, which have hence been laid open, and are daily growing before us.
A correct and comprehensive Repository, therefore, of whatever is chiefly valuable, and has chiefly a claim upon the public attention, of whatever is intrinsically curious, wonderful, or in any other way impressive, derived from the vast theatres of Nature and Art, as they are at present unfolded to us ; if selected with a judicious and discriminating hand, from the immense mass of matter at this moment before the world, in the various physical and philosophical Transactions, Journals, and Viemoirs, the Ephemerides, Amanitates, and Miscellanea Curiosa, of our own an other countries, cannot fail of becoming an object of public attention and patronage; as peculiarly adapted to the public want, and as combining a rich variety of elegant ainusement, with the most valuable specimens of scientific pursuit.
With this feeling the Proprietors of the present work commenced it nearly two years ago, and fully offered their views upon the subject, in a brief Prospectus accompanying VOL 1.
the First Part. And now, that the work is completed, they can conscientiously appeal to the public at large, whether they have not in every respect fulalled the penise then made, and produced a diiscellany at once eleganta.? systemaue, scientific and entertaining ; replete with cear.y the whole wealth of Nature and Art, and therefore fully eatinei to be denominated their general Museum or GALLERY. They trust, that they may equally point to the termination, aud to the opening of the present work, in proof that its direct scope is to furnish a Literary Conservatory of Rare, Curious, and Interesting Productions, derived from all quarters, and from all ages of the world; from every branch of science so far as it can be rendered popular, and from every department of research and discovery; from the most approred works of Travels and Antiquities ; of Topography and general Geography; of Fossils and Mineralogy ; of Natural History and Physiology ; of Chemistry and Mechanics.
The sanction of mankind, indeed, has already been given to a variety of valuable productions formed upon a basis somewhat sinilar; several of which, however, have been so long composed, as to become equally antiquated and erroneous in the progressive path of Science ; while others, deficient in knowledge or judgment, have been too generally drawn, with little or no discrimination, from wonders and curiosities that have never existed, and exhibit rather a world of fiction than of fact; or have lost all claim to authority, from a vain adoption of the editor's language and opinions instead of the language and opinions of the established sources, from which he should have quoted.
Next, therefore, to the extensive research which the present volumes will be found to offer ; a research far exceeding what has ever been attempted before; and the systematic, yet casy and familiar method in which they are arranged; it is their
first and peculiar claim, that they may be depended upon as primary authorities ; every section, as far as it has been pos
; sible, being directly copied, in order to avoid endangering the
accuracy or integrity of an approved writer, from his best printed edition, without intermediate transcription or mutilation of any kind. For the sake however of connexion and condensanon, it has occasionally been found necessary for the Editor, us he has proceeded, to fill up various chapters with observations of bis 0.71,--observations which it is hoped will in many instances be found among the most valuable parts of the work ; but such sections or passages have been carefully distinguished from the rest ; nor have the words of the original authors been ever deviated from, excepting on a few occasions, where brevity, a style peculiarly uncouth, or some other necessity, has rendered an alteration necessary, of which sufficient notice is given to the reader at the time.
It may be permitted to the Proprietors to observe, that the extent to which this plan has been carried, has led them intoanexpence and personal labour, far beyond what they had any idea of; but they are readily and cheerfully persevered, as well out of deference to the judgment and zeal of the enlightened Editor, whose recommendations they have in every instance approved and adopted, as from a full persuasion of an ample reward iirthe approbation and patronage of their countryinen.
The next prominent feature in the present work, to which they are desirous of calling the attention of the Public, is the number and intrinsic excellence of the Plates, with which it is so richly adorned; and which, they trust, will be found to exalt the GALLERY OF NATURE AND ART above every prior or similar attempt, in no less a degree than the