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OLD RED SANDSTONE;
NEW WALKS IN AN OLD FIELD.
JOHN JOHNSTONE, HUNTER SQUARE.
LONDON: R. GROOMBRIDGE.
RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON, Esq. F.R.S.
&c. &c, &c.
PRESIDENT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
In the autumn of last year I sat down to write a few geological sketches for a newspaper; the accumulated facts of twenty years crowded upon me as I wrote, and the few sketches have expanded into a volume. Permit me, honoured Sir, to dedicate this volume to you. Its imperfections are doubtless many, for it has been produced under many disadvantages ; but it is not the men best qualified to decide regarding it whose criticisms I fear most; and I am especially desirous to bring it under your notice, as of all geologists the most thoroughly acquainted with those ancient formations which it professes partially to describe. I am, besides, desirous it should be known, and this, I trust, from other motives than those of vanity, that when prosecuting my humble researches in obscurity and solitude, the present President of the Geological So
ciety did not deem it beneath him to evince an interest in the results to which they led, and to encourage and assist the inquirer with his advice. Accept, honoured Sir, my sincere thanks for your kindness.
Smith, the father of English Geology, loved to remark that he had been born upon the Oolite,—the formation whose various deposits he was the first to distinguish and describe, and from which, as from the meridian line of the geographer, the geological scale has been graduated on both sides. I have thought of the circumstance when, on visiting in my native district the birth-place of the author of the Silurian System, I found it situated among the more ancient fossiliferous rocks of the north of Scotland, the Lower Formation of the Old Red Sandstone spreading out beneath and around it, and the first-formed deposit of the system, the Great Conglomerate, rising high on the neighbouring hills. It is unquestionably no slight advantage to be placed, at that early stage of life when the mind collects its facts with greatest avidity, and the curiosity is most active, in localities where there is much to attract observation that has escaped the notice of others. Like the gentleman whom I have now the honour of addressing, I too was born on the Old Red Sandstone, and first broke ground as an inquirer into geological fact in a formation scarce at all known to the geologist, and in which there still remains much for future discoverers to examine