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NATURAL

HISTORY;

WITH

NOTES

FROM ALL THE POPULAR TREATISES

THAT HAVE BEEN ISSUED SINCE THE TIME OF GOLDSMITH;

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A COMPLETE VADE-MECUM OF MODERN DISCOVERY IN THE

SCIENCE WHICH IT ILLUSTRATES.

WITH A LIFE OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH,

BY GEORGE MOIR BUSSEY.

“Some one told Dr. Johnson that Goldsmith was engaged in writing a work on Natural History.. 'Is he
so engaged ?' said the great lexicographer,-"then he will produce a work on the subject as pleasing and
delightful as a fairy tale.""

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PREFACE.

The present edition of this standard and excellent production is called into existence by the extensive demand for works of NATURAL HISTORY, a stimulus having been given to the øylti, vation of this science, quite unprecedented. No apology necessary for incorporating it with the cheap and useful literature, comprising the series entitled “THE STANDARD ILLUSTRATED LIBRARY,” which has met with such extensive and deserved encouragement; and the language of Goldsmith, in his Preface to the original edition, in attacking the dry and tedious labours of scientific system-makers in Natural History, will supersede the necessity of any exposition of the design and object of the work. “It is written,” says the author, “with only such an attention to system as serves to remove the reader's embarrassment, and allure him to proceed. It can make no pretensions in directing him to the name of every object he meets with ; that belongs to works of a different kind, and written with very different aims. It will fully answer the design, if the reader, being already possessed of the name of any animal, shall find here a short, though satisfactory, history of its habitudes, its subsistence, its manners, its friendships, and hostilities. The aim has been, to carry on just as much method as was sufficient to shorten the descriptions by generalizing them, and never to follow order where the art of writing, which is but another name for good sense, informed me that it would only contribute to the reader's embarrassment."

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