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OF THE TERMS
ALL ARTS AND SCIENCES,
DEFINITIONS DRAWN FROM THE ORIGINAL WRITERS,
AND ILLUSTRATED BY PLATES, DIAGRAMS, CUTS, &c.
BY GEORGE CRABB, AM.
AUTHOR OF ENGLISH SYNONYMES EXPLAINED.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY, PATERNOSTER-ROW,
BY C. BALDWIN, NEW BRIDGE-STREET.
PR E F A C E.
As this work differs in many material points from anything which has hitherto been offered to the public, a few observations may be deemed necessary to explain the views of the Compiler with regard to his plan, and the execution of it.
To present the curious reader with a clue for understanding every subject which may incidentally come before his notice was one of his primary objects; and, next to this, he proposed to himself to furnish the inquirer with the means of extending his knowledge as far as he pleased. For the attainment of the first object, he has made his selection of words as copious as possible; and, at the same time, by consulting brevity in his definitions, has endeavoured to keep the work within a convenient size. In the catalogue of words there may possibly be some so obsolete, or grown out of use, and others so modern, or come so little into use, that they may rarely, if ever, be called for by any class of readers : but, as they occur in the writings of those who have acquired an authority or a name, the Compiler did not feel himself justified in rejecting such words, according to his own private opinion. But, in regard to the extent of the definitions and explanations to be given under each head, he had no other rule to follow than his own judgment. Considering himself in the character of a general reader, he looked upon every thing that was necessary to illustrate the meaning and application of technical terms as essential to be admitted into this work; and, on the other hand, whatever did not immediately answer this end, he regarded as irrelevant. The only deviation from this plan will be found under the Synopses of the Sciences, where, to preserve a connection between the different parts of any science, something more than the simple terminology has been occasionally introduced.
As this work is compiled for the use of readers of all descriptions, it is very natural to expect that many will be disappointed at not finding their favourite study more largely discanted upon, and will be apt to charge this omission upon the inadvertence of the compiler; but a moment's reflection will convince every candid reader, that to make a consistent work, suited to the object proposed, it was essential for him to pursue one uniform rule throughout. To have given copious details on any