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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
THE matter contained in the following pages has been taken from a work under the same name, in three volumes. This larger worksis somewhat miscellaneous in its character, treating of many particulars but remotely related to the general subject. These have been excluded from the present edition, and such portions only have been retained as appeared to be strictly appropriate to the title of the book. The author’s manner of writing is not a little peculiar, being discursive, abrupt, and irregular: at the same time, he abounds in interesting facts, in striking sentiments, and in beautiful imagery; in rich classical allusions, and in illustrations at once novel, and in a high degree impressive. Whoever reads this volume can hardly fail of deriving from it juster thoughts, and a nobler and purer love of Nature.
The subjects which are spread over the original work with seemingly little regard to order, have been more regularly arranged; and such omissions and alterations generally have been made, as, without impairing 0r misrepresenting the author’s views, seemed necessary to complete the design of this abridgment.
AM. En. New-York, October, 1841.
THE following pages were written in the privacy of retirement, amid scenes worthy the pen of Virgil and the pencil of Lorrain : scenes affording perpetual subjects for meditation to all who take a melancholy pleasure in contrasting the dignified simplicity _of Nature with the vanity, ignorance, and presumption of man.
I have ever had an inclination towards the study of Nature, and found inexhaustible delight in the contemplation of her varied phenomena. Never do I behold a beautiful landscape, but it is fixed so firmly in my mind that I could write a description of it at any distance otltime. The features of men I frequently forget; those of the natural world, never.
Nature often speaks with most miraculous organ. “If I ascend into heaven,” says the Hebrew poet, “ thou art there ; if I