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THE

68325

OLD RED SANDSTONE;

OR,

NEW WALKS IN AN OLD FIELD.

BY

II UGH MILLER,

2
AUTOR OF “FOOT-PRINTS OF THE CREATOR,"

ETC.

ILLUSTRATED WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS.

FROM THE FOURTH LONDON EDITION.

BOSTON:
GOU L D' AND LINCOLN,

59 WASIINGTON STREET.

18 54.

TO

RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON, Esq., F. R. S., Etc.,

ņ:-1-85mou

PRESIDENT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY.

In the autumn of last year, I sat down to write a few geological sketches for a newspaper; the accumulated facts of twenty years crowded upon me as I wrote, and the few sketches have expanded into a volume. Permit me, honored Sir, to dedicate this volume to you. Its imperfections are doubtless many, for it has been produced under many disadvantages; but it is not the men best qualified to decide regarding it whose criticisms I fear most; and I am especially desirous to bring it under your notice, as of all geologists the most thoroughly acquainted with those ancient formations which it professes partially to describe.. I am, besides, desirous it should be known, and this, I trust, from other motives than those of vanity, that, when prosecuting my humble researches in obscurity and solitude, the present President of the Geological Society did not deem it beneath him to evince an interest in the results to which they led, and to encourage and assist the inquirer with his advice. Accept, honored Sir, my sincere thanks for your kindness.

Smith, the father of English Geology, loved to remark that he had been born upon the Oolite — the formation whose various deposits he was the first to distinguish and describe, and from which, as from the meridian line of the geographer, the geological scale has been graduated on both sides. I have thought of the circumstance when, on visiting in my native district the birthplace of the author of the Silurian System, I found it situated among the more ancient fossiliferous rocks of the north of Scotland - the Lower Formation of the Old Red Sandstone spreading out beneath and around it, and the first-formed deposit of the system, the Great Conglomerate, rising high on the neighboring hills. It is unquestionably no slight advantage to be placed, at that early stage of life, when the mind collects its facts with greatest avidity, and the curiosity is most active, in localities where there is much to attract observation that has escaped the notice of others. Like the gentleman whom I have now the honor of addressing, I too was born on the Old Red Sandstone, and first broke ground as an inquirer into geological fact in a formation scarce at all known to the geologist, and in which there still remains much for future discoverers to examine and describe. Hence an acquaintance, I am afraid all too slight, with phenomena which, if intrinsically of interest, may be found to have also the interest of novelty to recommend them, and with organisms which, though among the most ancient of things in their relation to the world's history, will be pronounced new by the geological reader in their relation to human knowledge. Hence, too, my present opportunity of subscribing myself, as the writer of a volume on the Old Red Sandstone,

Honored Sir,
With sincere gratitude and respect,

Your obedient humble Servant,

HUGH MILLER.

EDINBURGH, May 1, 1811.

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