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published the study of infects was little cultivated in Britain; the fyftem of Linnaeus, which reduced the chaos into order, was not yet perfected, and our language had not yet formed and adopted a number of words and terms which it was neceffary fhould be current before a translation could be attempted. Even at this day the want of terms is probably the reafon why the excellent publications of Reaumur, De Geer, and many others, are ftill only known in this country in their original language. In this respect the translator of the work now fubmitted to the Public, muft likewife throw himself on the indulgence of the Reader. For many terms he has been obliged to make use either of the Latin or the French word; but he hopes never except when these words are perfectly well understood, and have become, through use, inoffenfive to the English ear. But what no doubt chiefly tended to obftruct the translation of the book into English was, the difficulty of afcertaining the identical infects which the authors mention by local names without fufficient defcriptions. It is not a mere knowledge of the languages in which the book was originally written, nor a mere acquaintance with the subject, that can enable a translator to overcome this difficulty. He must have an opportunity of confulting a variety of books, feldom to be met with in pri vate libraries, and fome of them rare even in the best public collections in this kingdom. The chief value of the prefent performance to naturalifts will therefore confift in its identifying the greater part of the infects by the Linnean name, an advantage which they well know how to appretiate.

It must be mentioned that as the original work was pub lifhed before the accurate definition of an infect was given by Linnæus, the word is ufed much more loosely than at prefent. By Leffer all the animals that compofe Linnæus's clafs of Vermes are called infects; and even Lyonet, who defines an infect to be an animal with an external skeleton, gives the fame name to fnails. The Naturalift, accustomed to b 2


the strict acceptation of the term will revolt at this inaccu racy; but it was thought better to retain the expreffion, than to facrifice the observations and reflections it ferves to introduce.

It was fuggefted to the translator, that by ufing the information contained in the following pages, along with the materials afforded by modern difcoveries, an altogether new work might be constructed, with more unity in the plan and more precision in the execution. But not to mention that fuch a proceeding would have implied an intention to rob the original authors of their just fame, he thought that it would be agreeable to many readers to fee their different fentiments on the fame fubjects, and that the 'work would ftill be interesting in its present form, as marking an æra in the history of the knowledge of infects.

As the claffical works of Ray and Derham on PhyficoTheology are known and admired by all; this performance, being an enlarged difcuffion of a topic which they touch upon but slightly, feemed to have fome chance of a favourable reception with the public. Those who have been deterred from the study of infects by the idea that they are a loathfome and noxious part of the works of creation,will here, it is hoped,find arguments to convince them of their mistake. The principal propofition maintained by the author will likewise, no doubt, with fome have its effect; for whatever weight may be thought due to the reafoning of Leffer, by the philofophers of the prefent day, the fincerely pious will give him credit for his intention, and may profit by his zeal.

The Notes are placed by themselves, with proper references, at the end of the book, that they might not crowd the pages, nor tend to interrupt the reader in following the train of thought pursued by the author.


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Those Notes to which an Afterisk is prefixed are by the Author, and a few of them which it was not thought neceffary to particularize, by the Translator.¡

In this age of refinement and faftidious criticifm, when all performances fubmitted to the public eye are expected to be finished in the highest degree, the style of this translation, we fear, will hardly stand the teft; but if it wants the energy and spirit of the original, it is hoped it will not be found deficient in faithfulness and perfpicuity.

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