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I owe an apology to the scientific reader for not, in every instance, giving the authorities from which I have drawn many of the facts and arguments used in the course of my work. It was impossible ; my library is too small. Confined to my room during the whole time I have been engaged in my work, in an agricultural district very scantily supplied with scientific books; too much indisposed, for two-thirds of the time, to read or write, I found it to be impossible, without delay, trouble, and expense, to procure the necessary authors. I have, therefore, freely quoted the authors in my possession, and was obliged to depend on memory for others, which I did not quote, lest I might misrepresent them.
The scarcity of books has been a serious grievance to me, in the progress of my labor. The great variety, and immense importance of the topics to be discussed in the Natural History of Man, according to my view of it, required a very large and select, instead of a very small, though select, family library. It may be, however, that the scarcity of books has been the reason that so many new views have been presented on the subjects discussed; which might have been withheld if I had had an opportunity to refresh my memory by a re-perusal of the authors. The public may be benefited by having a number of new ideas furnished to the intellectual stock on hand; while the author may suffer by not having placed them in a proper light for his own credit and advantage. Wants, however, are not always disadvantages, though they must be inconveniences. They throw a man upon his resources, if he has any ; and have produced the most powerful exertions of human nature, both for good and evil. How they have operated on the author, the intelligent reader must decide.
I have ventured to differ from authorities, in several important instances, which have generally been regarded as standards. I offer no apology for it. If I have contradicted them without sufficient reasons to justify me, I am well aware that I cannot expect, nor do I hope, to be sustained ; and, if my reasons are sufficient, no name can stand so high, in the republic of letters, as to carry away the judgment of the public against truth.
It will be observed that, throughout my work, I have avoided the use of technical terms, wherever they could be avoided without prejudice to the sense of the subject. In this I have consulted the taste of the general more than of the scientific reader. It must
be admitted that all the works hitherto published on the Natural History of Man, have been sealed books to the general reader, arising as well from the method of treating the subject, as from abounding in technicalities, which the initiated only could understand, and which the general reader would not be at the labor of deciphering. The subject is too deeply interesting to be made so exclusive. The best interests of mankind are involved in its details ; and, if properly treated, cannot fail to interest every man, either from a desire for knowledge, or from motives of curiosity, or benevolence. I do not pretend to have so treated it; but I hope I may be excused for believing that I have clothed the subject in a more appropriate, and therefore a more pleasing garb, than have my predecessors.
of Men. Her day is passed. Public opinion and Conscience supply her place.
could modify by his word as well as create. Another view of the subject.
Class Mammalia. Zoological character of Man. Reasons for new nomencla-
The importance of Vegetables. Habitats of Vegetables and Animals. Causes