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“ The execution of such a project as this is greatly facilitated by the lecturer's happy prerogatives. The mere limits of time to which he is bound, preclude, in any case, his attempting the exhaustive treatment of his themes. At the lecture-table he is only expected to display a few salient facts, in a striking and attractive form, and to deduce therefrom a few guiding principles, so as to assist his auditors in acquiring for themselves the details of the science. Any attempt on the lecturer's part to make his brief discourses encyclopædic, must, of neces. sity, fail; nay, lectures are probably by so much the better fitted for their purpose, by how much they are freer from unnecessary detail, and more thoroughly emancipated from the trammels of systematic routine."-Hofmann's Introduction to Modern Chemistry.
“Scientific method is no peculiar mystery, requiring a peculiar initiation. It is sinply cominon sense combined with uncommon courage, which includes common honesty and common patience; and if you will be brave, honest, patient, and rational, you will need no mystagogues to tell you what in science to believe and what not to believe; for you will be just as good judges of scientific facts and theories as those who assume the right of guiding your convictions."-Rev. C. Kingsley in 'Fraser's Magazine' for July 1866.
AUTHOR OF 'INTRODUCTORY AND ADVANCED TEXT-BOOKS OF GEOLOGY,' 'HANDBOOK OF GEOLOGICAL TERMS
INTRODUCTORY AND ADVANCED TEXT BOOKS OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY,' ETC.
THIRD AND ENLARGED EDITION
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
The Right of Translation is reserved
DURING the last twenty years immense progress has been made in the dissemination of Geological knowledge, yet still the old cry, “It is so difficult, so full of technicalities, so hard to be understood.” Now, without admitting that Geology is fuller of technicalities, or one whit more difficult to be understood, than other sciences, I have thought it worth while, in the present volume, to attempt a simple and familiar exposition of its leading truths and principles. Because some have made the same attempt and failed is no reason why I should not try; because it is fashionable in some quarters to sneer at popular sketches is no reason why I should be deterred from expressing my conviction that sketches of this kind are the only means by which the majority of people can acquire any knowledge of science, while in many instances they form the first steps even to those who subsequently profess to despise them. Because information is given in a popular way, it need not be inaccurate and flimsy;