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The compiler, under the most advantageous circumstances, of a work ot reference must be prepared, upon a review of its first edition, to find more or less of commission and of omission, alike to be regretted. There is especial apprehension of this where, as in the present instance, the materials were not ready at hand, subsisting in some similar form of combination, but had to be collected, by laborious researches extending over several years, from works as various in period and language as they are different in their plan, and, to a very large extent, contradictory in their general theories, and in their partici ar definitions, allocations, and identifications. I have no •doubt that in r rising these pages I shall meet in them with much to correct ; but I can 'onscientiously say, that in their preparation I have used my best endeav rs to render them as free from error as was practicable in a work of such -^mplicated, and, to me, novel labour, prosecuted concurrently with much, and much wearing, work, and amid circumstances not the most favourable for that tranquil application of the mind and judgment which is essential to the effectual development of such a production.
I have neither space nor inclination to set forth the long list of authorities that have been consulted in the preparation of this volume. I will simply state, that I have made it my business to have constantly