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VOL. XIV. PART I.
ART. I.-Philosophical Letters between the learned Mr. Ray and several of his ingenious Correspondents, Natives, and Foreigners ; to which are added those of Francis Willughby, Esq. The whole consisting of many curious Discoveries and Improvements in the History of Quadrupeds, Birds, Fishes, Insects, Plants, Fossiles, Fountains, &c. Published by W. Derham, Chaplain to his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, and F. R. S. London, 1718.
THE remote and ultimate point to which the higher branches of abstract science tend, is within the reach of few save those who, gifted alike with talent and leisure, can dedicate no inconsiderable portion of life to their culture and attainment. The deep mysteries of philosophy, into which the mind of a Newton could penetrate, are, to the greater part of mankind, as inaccessible as the very heavens of which they treat; but in natural history, and all that vast field of subordinate science which leads to the contemplation of Deity, in his works in this his lower world, we find an ample space to which all may retire for their moment of leisure, and, without any overwhelming demand on their intellect, discover wherewithal to expand its powers and lead it from Nature up to Nature's God. There is another advantage, too, upon which we would willingly expatiate beyond the fair limits by which we are confined; we allude to that tranquillising spirit, falling like the shades of evening over those who retire from the world to "suck in the sweets of sweet philosophy,' amidst fields and flowers and woods, enlivened by the melody of birds and the busy hum of the myriads of organised beings enjoying their brief hour of existence. There is something in
VOL. XIV. PART I.