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DNGLISH literature, abundant though it may be in other

respects, is undoubtedly very deficient in works on Astronomy. Our choice is limited either to purely elementary books, few in number, on the one hand; or to advanced treatises, of which there is a similar paucity, on the other. The present work is designed to occupy a middle position between these two classes: to be attractive to the general reader, useful to the amateur, and handy' also, as an occasional book of reference, to the professional astronomer.

In pursuance of the plan laid down from the first, theoretical matter is, as a rule, excluded; but in many cases it has been thought desirable not to abide with perfect strictness by this limitation.

Finally, it is hoped that this book may be the means of inducing some, at least, to interest themselves in the study of that noble Science, which in so conclusive a manner shows forth the wonderful Wisdom, Power, and Beneficence of the Great Creator and Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe.

6. F. C.


August, 1861.

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