Imatges de pÓgina
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PREFACE.

As the intention of this volume is to give an unceremonious introduction of certain trees and shrubs to our readers, who are occasionally in the habit of meeting them without being acquainted, in many instances, even with their names, botanical language has been carefully avoided; for although it would often have saved many words, it was considered that such terms would be intelligible only to the botanist, and that the botanist was precisely the last person to whom a description of common trees or shrubs would be likely to be of any use. One word only, as far as the writer remembers, has been introduced from the botanical vocabulary-the word pinnate; and this occurs so often, and requires so much circumlocution to

avoid, that it has been used; but an explanation has been given of this term, for those to whom it is not familiar, in the very first article in the volume, the Acacia.

It has been observed, and objected against the writer, that, in a former publication, of a similar nature to the present, there was wanting a spirit of religion, and that frequency of grateful reference to the Creator, which would seem naturally to flow from a contemplation of the wonders and beauties of creation. As some conjectures, likely to be injurious to her, have been formed with regard to the cause of this omission, and as the same remark may, with equal justice, be made upon the present volume, she feels it necessary to say a few words upon this subject.

That she has not introduced the subject of religion, is certainly true; but she thinks it can scarcely be said with justice, that any book is wanting in a spirit of religion which treats of the beauties of nature and of the pleasures to be derived from them. It is natural to us all to feel grateful towards those by whose means we enjoy any portion

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