« PreviousContinue »
The Binder is requested to place the Plates in the following order, taking care to make all the Plates face an even Page, unless otherwise directed.
Acoustics, opposite the article Acquitt AL.
BeER ENGINE, opposite to the article BeGo NiA.
LIFE BOAT at the end of sheet N n.
MAM M ALIA, Pl. I. at the middle of Sheet R.
The experience of more than a century has eminently proved the advantages of such works as exhibit, under an alphabetical arrangement, the complete circle of human knowledge. Dictionaries of language, of general terms, and of particular branches of science and art, have been multiplied by the labours of men fully qualified to display the subjects they have undertaken to discuss: and the first characters in the various nations of Europe have been proud to rank their names and unite their exertions in the production of immense works, containing every subject which can engage the intellectual research or active occupation of man. The order of the alphabet has been so skilfully combined with that order which is indicated by the natural relations of the materials, that works of this description have been received with the most striking approbation; and, notwithstanding the great labour and expense required to keep pace with the rapid improvements and discoveries of modern times, the number of Dictionaries of all descriptions has been so great, that it would be difficult, and perhaps useless, even to name them, and point out
their respective merits.
From the great Encyclopedias, each of which may be said to constitute an entire library, to those smaller compositions intended for mere reference:—from the hurried compilations of book-makers to those elaborate and luminous works in which men of the highest repu
tation have recorded their comprehensive views, and .
their most striking discoveries, it is not difficult to ob
serve and deduce the distinct and separate utilities of
each, and the duties to be expected from the editors and proprietors of such undertakings. Among the most obvious of these it is indispensable that a new work should be called for by circumstances which point out advantages of size, plan, and materials not before adopted, and that the means to be employed, in the actual performance, should be such as must deter. mine its worth and authority with every description of readers.
We are already in possession of the large Cyclopedia of Dr. Rees, which has advanced to its twelfth volume, by a progress that insures its regular completion, and in a style of execution which is truly honourable to the skill and diligence of those who have undertaken it; to the activity and enterprize of the Proprietors, and to a nation which has ever taken the lead in science and the arts. On the smaller Dictionaries it is needless to enlarge. After various deliberate consultations between the Proprietors, the Editor, and the principal gentlemen engaged in the different departments, it was concluded that a new Dictionary, appropriated exclusively to the