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ral departments, embrace articles in the sciences of Astronomy, Physical Geography, and Hydrography-with their kindred sciences, Geology and Meteorology-in Chemistry and Physiology; these are followed by a series of papers illustrative of some of these subjects, and of general Natural History, either in narrative, description, or allusion. These branches of science have been selected, not only as more generally interesting to youth, but as the departments most frequently familiar, in a popular shape, among teachers. And, moreover, these sciences admit writers furnishing exact facts, as well as presenting them adorned with the graces of a pure and eloquent style.
The third general department of the work includes papers on the Uses and Sources of History; an original Chronological Synopsis of General History to the present time, supplemented by articles in Biography, examples of Political Oratory, articles on the Diffusion of Languages, and individual historical pictures connected with the History of England.
The Compiler contemplated the inclusion in the work of several other branches of knowledge adapted to the diffusion of intelligence in the present day: among these were the Christian Evidences, with examples of Pulpit Eloquence; articles in the Belles Lettres, including the Theory of Poetry and of Figurative Language; the History of Fiction, the Fine Arts, and the Elements of Logic; articles illustrative of the Useful Arts ; papers on Political Economy and the Theory of Wealth ; but in the progress of the accumulation of extracts it was found impossible to include, directly within the limits of one moderately cheap volume, these subjects, without stinting into meagreness all the departments of the book. Some of these subjects will be found interwoven with the present selections; and should any measure of success in this work seem to invite a second experiment, the Compiler has in contemplation the preparation of a succeeding volume, which will include some or all of the above subjects. The sciences selected have been presented in so generic, and, at the same time, from the high authority of the writers, in so exact a view, independently of technological minuteness, that they will furnish, it is hoped, a solid and intelligent basis for future and more minute study; while the literary aspect in which the extracts present scientific ideas, will render the subjects attractive, and the characteristics of the style of such writers as Chalmers, Brougham, Davy, Bell, Miller, and Channing, will be found conducive to the growth of a correct taste.
The causes abovementioned will account for the limited selection of poetry, and for the extract of only one passage from such a writer as Cowper. The humorous extracts were intended to relieve the monotony of dry seriousness which has sometimes been complained of in school-books. The poetical selections have been made with a distinct view to the purposes of elocution.
The concluding portion of the Work contains a view of the history of English Etymology; followed by the usual lists of Prefixes and Affixes, as the exponents of the meanings of derivative words, and by a copious Index of Latin Roots, drawn strictly from the Work itself, but presenting in a condensed form almost all the useful derivatives from the ety, mons chosen. The expansion of this Index soon shewed the
Compiler that he could not include, as contemplated, separate lists of Greek, French, Italian, and German Etymologies; many of these, therefore, will be found noticed along with the Latin etymons, and will illustrate the observations on the analogies of language which precede the Index.
In conclusion, the Compiler begs to remark, that he has laboured to infuse into the scientific and historical departments that homage to religion, without which knowledge is frozen into mere intellect, and dissociated from the heart and affections; and he trusts that the complexion of the whole body of extracts is such as, while it solidly nurtures the intellect, will have a tendency to act on the refinement of the taste and fancy, and the elevation of the religious and moral sentiments.