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The first edition of this work was presented to the public with many fears and much hesitation; the favourable reception which it received, was therefore gratifying, in proportion as it was unexpected. The encouraging voice and approving smile of our fellow travellers in the journey of life, have a powerful influence in exciting us to greater efforts; and while the virtuous mind would fear to indulge in an inordinate love of human applause, it must feel that the approbation of the good on earth, is a pledge of that higher reward which awaits it hereafter. These Lectures, although written with a view to teach science, have yet a higher aim, that of leading the youthful mind to view the wisdom, power and goodness of the Almighty, as manifested in his creation-and no commendation which this work has received, has been so gratifying to its author, as that, which has ascribed to it a religious tendency. #
Since the publication of this elementary work, the science of which it treats has been introduced, as a study, into many of our principal female seminaries; and in the various applications for teachers, which are made to this institution from different parts of the country, an acquaintance with Botany is now often made an indispensable qualification. It was the difficulty of procuring a female instructer in this department which led the author of these lectures to apply herself to the study of a science, whose beauties until recently have been concealed from general observation.
In this edition care has been taken to profit by the remarks of teachers and others who have used the work. The Physiological department is rendered more full, by, additional remarks upon the grooth of plants, circulation of fluids, Mirbel's arrangements of fruits, fc. The wood cuts which are now added will, it is thought, bé found useful for purposes of illustration. The analysis of subjects is now placed at the bottom of each page, as being there more convenient for reference, than at the end of the book.
To some scientific gentlemen, who, condescending to notice so unpretending a volume, have suggested the propriety of rendering it more strictly scientific, the author would reply, that from the first it was only intended as a popular introduction to the science. No one department is considered as complete; the botanical descriptions do not include all the plants of any one section of the country, but some of the most common indigenous and exotic plants of the various botanical districts of the United States; such, as it is supposed, teachers can easily procure for analysis in their classes. Pupils going into the fields to collect plants should be provided with a Flora of the re
gion in which they attempt to botanize ;* teachers for their own private use, should be furnished with some work.containing descriptions of all the plants of the country, as Eaton's Manual, Torrey's Botany, &c. Little alteration in the arrangement of the work, has been made in this edition ; a few additions have been made, from suggestions occasioned by the perusal of some English and French botanical works of recent publications but in none of those works has the author yet met with that simple and inductive method of treating the science for the benefit of learners, which she believes to be exhibited in this humble volame.
* Professor Hitchcock's a Catalogue of the Plants growing in the vicinity of Amherst College,” furnishes nearly all the indigenous plants wbich may be found in the Northern part of the United States. This Catalogue is the fruit of twelve year's examination of plants, made by the Professor, aided by several eminent botanists.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Importance of observing external objects.–Vegetables consist of two
Phystological Views.-Germination of the seed.-Solids and Fluids
Physiological Views.-Solid parts of vegetables.-Fluid parts of veg.
Use of Botanical Names.-Artificial classes and orders considered in
Animals and Plants. Conclusion of the Lectures.