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The general idea of the work will be readily gathered from its title and from a glance at its contents. It contains many little items of information, gathered from the broad fields of literature, history, and science, which are not contained in encyclopedias and ordinary hand-books, and which are not readily found when sought. In the departments of the Physical and Natural Sciences, moreover, are contained many interesting results of modern research, of too recent date to have found a place in ordinary scientific treatises. In a word, while this volume has little or no claim to a strictly scientific character, it is believed that it will be found at once useful, interesting, and familiarly instructive.
New York, March, 1857.