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PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
The principal objects which the author proposed to himself in the present Treatise will probably be best explained by the following extracts from the Preface to the first edition — “In the work of which the present volume forms the third and concluding portion, it has been the aim of the author to give the leading facts and doctrines of chemical science, in as concise a form as possible, without sacrificing clearness and accuracy to brevity. But in order that the reader may be enabled to refer to original sources when further information is needed, references have been given to the papers from which the more important details have been obtained, particularly to the recent memoirs on organic chemistry. ‘It will be observed that in the arrangement of the present volume, free use has been made of the system of classification in homologous series, which was employed with such admirable results by the late highly-gifted M. Gerhardt. . . . . . ‘The general method of classification adopted by that eminent chemist in his Traité de Chimie Organique, excellent as it is in many respects for the advanced cultivator of the science, is not, however, well adapted to the plan of a didactic work like the present; and it was judged preferable, after a preliminary sketch of the methods of investigation and classification employed, to commence the detailed description of the products of organic chemistry with that of a few of the best known and most familiar compounds derived from the vegetable kingdom, although their composition is less simple than that of many other organic substances: for this reason sugar, starch, and vegetable fibre were made the starting point; and from them the transition was easy