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The following Articles in this Volume are Copyrighted, 1892, by J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
in the United States of America :
The first volume of the new edition of CHAMBERS'S ENCYCLOPÆDIA was issued in March 1888; the work is now completed within less than five years by the issue of the tenth volume. It is not merely, as was promised, a thoroughly new edition, but is to all intents and purposes a new work ; and the publishers and editor are confident that, whether regard be had to fullness, compactness, accuracy, proportion, systematic arrangement, or literary form, it greatly surpasses the former edition, and is the best book of its scope and kind extant. Nearly a thousand authors many of them of the first eminence, and all specially qualified for their work—have contributed ; and to them the reader is indebted for the authority, variety, interest, and readableness of the articles. He need but glance at the lists of principal articles prefixed to the successive volumes to realise how numerous and how eminent those contributors have been.
An encyclopædia is by no means, as has been frequently assumed ever since the name or the thing was known, a dry and formless catalogue of disjointed or chaotic facts, whose sole claim to existence lies in its being handy for reference and moderately correct. On the contrary, a well arranged encyclopædia is a microcosm, a conspectus of the universe, a more or less effective view of 'the proficience and advancement of learning divine and human,' to use Bacon's ambitious phrase. It is a stocktaking in almost every department of science; and should be even less remarkable for its multifariousness and fullness than for the proportion, interdependence, and due subordination of parts.
This systematic form, for which the editorial staff must mainly be held responsible, the editor believes he has in great measure secured ; and he is glad heartily to thank his colleagues one and all for their unremitting, laborious, conscientious, and scholarly co-operation. Mr FRANCIS HINDES GROOME and Mr Thomas Davidson have from the outset had a share in almost every department of the editorial duties, besides contributing many and important articles from their own pens. The Rev. William Dundas WALKER has throughout done admirable work both in writing and revising articles—as did also Mr John T. Beally for a shorter period. Mr ROBERT COCHRANE has rendered invaluable service in the secretarial and other departments. At the commencement help which has been of lasting value was given by Mr WILLIAM Inglis, a partner in the Firm, who died before the first volume was issued. His work has been continued by his successor, Mr ROBERT Mowat, who has read the proofs and made many useful suggestions. The Rev. JAMES IngLis has sustained the labour of preparing the Index; and the illustration of all the ten volumes—often from photographs by Messrs Frith and Mr GAMBIER BOLTON—has been under the charge of Mr J. R. PAIRMAN. Some of the outside contributors have, in respect of the continuity of their work, been practically on the staff ; thus Mr J. Arthur Thomson has written almost all the articles on zoological subjects. Mr W. S. WASHBURN, of Messrs J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, has been very helpful in regard to the American articles. An editor's chief work is to edit; but besides revising all the articles, the editor has been one of his own most frequent contributors—mainly in the shorter articles and such as fell within his special competency.
Over and above correction by authors and by the printer's readers, every article has been read in proof by him and at least two of his colleagues. In many cases moreover articles in proof have been submitted to specialists other than the writers; their courteous help has been already acknowledged in the lists of principal articles. A large number of the articles on towns and institutions have been most kindly revised by town-clerks or other officials.
Of those who projected and carried through the first edition (1859-68)—into whose labours we of the present edition have entered—the great majority are no longer with us. Dr WILLIAM CHAMBERS and Dr ROBERT CHAMBERS had passed away before this edition was undertaken by the Firm, then headed by Mr ROBERT CHAMBERS the Second, who, dying in 1888, left as representative of the old house his son Mr C. E. S. CHAMBERS. Dr FINDLATER, the first editor, had died in 1885; but of the hundred contributors to the first edition nearly twenty have also contributed to the secondof whom, alas ! five have died during the publication of these volumes. Of other collaborateurs on this edition we have lost by death no less than ten since the work began.
Now that the days of the polyhistors are past, not merely the general reader but even the man of special learning may often find his account in referring to what is a compendium of many libraries ; the most accomplished specialist in one department may find it useful to read the articles by brother specialists in other departments. But encyclopædists make no claim to omniscience or infallibility ; and none can be so conscious as the editor of the inevitable shortcomings of a work treating de omni re scibili et quibusdam aliis' and yet strictly limited to ten volumes not much larger than in the former edition. The necessity of keeping within the prescribed limits has been both a painful and laborious condition of the editor's work, and must be the apology for compression within short space of many articles well worthy to extend to much greater length. Still, from the very nature of the case, the encyclopædia can be only a guide, a preparation, a steppingstone, a stimulus to further and fuller study elsewhere. The spirit was good in which Bartholomæus Anglicus concluded his De Proprietatibus Rerum, the ‘Encyclopædia of the Middle Ages,' with words thus Englished by his translator:
“I make protestation in the end of this worke, as I did in the beginning, that in all ' that is in divers matters conteined in this worke, right little or naught have I set of mine
owne, but I have followed veritie and truth, and also followed the wordes, meaning, and
DAVID PATRICK. EDINBURGH, Christmas 1892.