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THE LONDON ENCYCLOPÆDIA; Or, UNIVERSAL DICTIONARY of SCIENCE, ART, LITERATURE, ‘and PRACTICAL MECHANICS: ncluding an English Lexicon, on the Basis of Dr. Johnson's larger Dictionary; but remolelled, the Definitions being simplified, and the Authorities chronologically arranged.
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The following is the proposed Order of Publication, and any Part sold separate, viz.
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s.d. 1. Goldsmith's Poems..........2022, 23. Citizen of the World, 2 vols. 7 0 | 44. Milton's Paradise Regained.. 30 2. Johnson's Rasselas .......... 2 6 04. Chesterfield's Advice to his Son 1 6 45. Blair's Grave, &c. &c. ...... 3. More's Search after Happiness 25, 26. Homer's Odyssey, 2 vols. 6 0 3. Franklin's Works ........... 40 4. Elizabeth....
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gler, 2 vols..... ...... 90 8. Dodd's Prison Thoughts..... 32, 33. Burns' Poems, 2 vols..... 60 51. Gems of British Poesy, Mis9, 10. Dodd's Beauties of Shak 34. Jones's Beauties of Sturm....
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THE PROGRESSIVE SPELLING- || FIVE HUNDRED useful and amusBOOK; or, A New INTRODUCTION to SPELL ing EXPERIMENTS in CHEMISTRY, and in ING and READING; arranged in easy Lessons, the ARTS and MANUFACTURES, with Obseradapted to the Capacities of Youth, and calculated, | vations on the Properties of the Substances emin an easy and pleasing manner, to assist them in
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LONDON ENCYCLOPÆDIA ;
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Prospectus. Encyclopædists, with other writers of dictionaries, have been placed by high authority among the pioneers of literature,' a species of auxiliaries peculiarly necessary when science is on the advance. It is theirs to remove the obstacles which impede her progress in penetrating unexplored regions ; and if they share not in the splendour, they secure the permanence of her victories.
When science in any country becomes stationary, and reposes amongst privileged orders of men, in colleges and cloisters, Encyclopædias either do not exist, or fall into desuetude. It is when the thinking faculty of a nation is roused, and its institutions are favourable to the diffusion of knowledge, that the sphere of such works is created ; that their importance to the best interests of society becomes acknowledged; and that, from their adaptedness to meet the intellectual craving thus excited, they are eagerly sought for, and promptly supplied.
The literary history of Great Britain, in a very striking manner, illustrates the truth of these remarks. The first Cyclopædia that appeared amongst us though almost resembling the original chaos, and scarcely exhibiting even
* The baby figure of the giant mass
of things,” marked the commencement of a new æra, and opened to the rapidly increasing numbers of our reading population the richest stores of intellectual wealth. This was followed, at various intervals, by others more erudite and compro. hensive; each professing to offer greater advantages than its predecessor, and asserting a stronger claim to public patronage. In the present day there are no fewer than six principal Encyclopaedias, diversified in their specific character and object, and of very different gradations in the scale of merit; yet are they all valuable accessions to our literature. They have united to enlarge the circle of knowledge, and to extend its benefits to great multitudes, who would otherwise have remained in comparative ignorance.
The duty which, on the present occasion, especially devolves upon the Editors of this work, and to which they would strictly confine themselves is. to shew that there is ground yet unoccupied, and of very large dimensions, which requires to be cultivated by the introduction of another Encyclopædiz;
and at the same time, to state the clains of their projected undertaking to supply this public want.
The most unthinking, as well as the most prejudiced, must be struck with the fact, that the period in which we live is extraordinary and momentous. Amongst the great body of the people an unparalleled revolution is at work: they have awoke from that ignorance in which they had slept for ages, and have sprung up in their new character of thinking beings, qualified to inquire and to discuss; and despising both the despotism and the bigotry that would prohibit or impede their improvement. This mighty movement of the general mass is felt even by those in superior classes, who, while they once imagined that learning was their prescriptive right, yet often contented them selves with very inconsiderable portions of it.— They feel that they must now go forward, or be trodden down; that to retain their rank and character in public estimation, their minds must be better cultivated, their sphere of know. ledge more widely extended. The intellectual spirit is moving upon the chaos of minds, which ignorance and necessity have thrown into collision and confur sion, and the result will be a new creation. Nature (to use the nervous language of an old writer)' will be melted down and recoined,' and all will be bright and beautiful.
In every new project of this description, there must be two things kept es pecially in view: it must be comprehensive, and it must be cheap. It ought to be in itself, an independent and principal work; those who purchase it should be placed above the necessity of procuring any other.
The LONDON ENCYCLOPÆDIA aspires to take the very first place, as a compendious Dictionary. It will be the study of its writers, to blend conciseness of manner and copiousness of matter; to be full and yet brief. Where elaborate works must be consulted, references will be given to the best on every subject. To every principa! science, art, pursuit, or trade, a distinct trea tise will be devoted; to which, a short separate index will be at once subjoined. Next to plenitude of information, easy and expeditious reference will be considered. Thus the arrangement will be alphabetical ; the conte. nience of the reader will in all cases be consulted ; all that is elementary will be amply provided ; and where professional and complete knowledge of a science is wanted, every means of obtaining it will be pointed out. So that to all classes of students, it will afford the readiest and best method of acquiring the knowledge of which they are in pursuit; while to the tra veller, the voyager, the colonial resident, the artisan, the mechanic, and tradesman, it offers peculiar advantages.
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