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refer to even a popular Encyclopædia for an insight into any of the subjects of the twenty-eight chapters of this volume—“The Heart,"
," " The Lungs,” “ The Stomach,” “ Atmospheric Pressure," -no matter which, and see how much they can understand of it without an amount of preliminary instruction which would require half-a-year's study, and they will then thoroughly appreciate the quite marvellous ingenuity and beautiful skill with which M. Macé has brought the great leading anatomical and physical facts of life out of the depths of scientific learning, and made them literally comprehensible by a child.
There is one point (independent of the scientific teaching) and that, happily, the only really important one, in which the English translator has had no change to make or desire. The religious teaching of the book is unexceptionable. There is no strained introduction of the subject, but there is throughout the volume an acknowledgment of the Great Creator of this marvellous work of the human frame, of the daily and hourly gratitude we owe to Him, and of the utter impossibility of our tracing out half his wonders, even in the things nearest to our senses, and most constantly subject to observation. M. Macé will help, and not hinder the humility with which the Christian naturalist lifts one veil only to recognise another beyond.
It will be satisfactory to any one who may be inclined to wonder how a lady can feel sure of having correctly translated the various scientific and anatomical statements contained in the volume, to know that the whole has been submitted to the careful revision of a medical friend, to whom I have reason to be very grateful for valuable explanations and corrections whenever they were necessary. In the same way the chapter on “Atmospheric Pressure,” where, owing to the difference between French and English weights and measures, several alterations of illustrations, etc., had to be made, has received similar kind offices from the hands of a competent mathematician.
Ecclesfielil, June, 1864.
NOTE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
In May '66, the seventeenth edition of this work was on sale in Paris. The date of Mrs. Gatty's preface, it will be observed, is. June '64, and at that time, the eighth French edition only had been reached. That it should be a popular book and com mand a large sale wherever it is known, will not surprise any one who reads it: the only remarkable circumstance about it is, that it should not have been republished here long ere this. Even this may probably be accounted for, on the supposition that the title under which the translation was published in England, was so unmeaning-conveying not the slightest idea of the contents of the book that none of our publishers even ventured to hand it over to their readers” to examine.
The author's title, The History of a Mouthful of Bread, wbile falling far short of giving a clear notion of the entire scope the work, is shockingly diluted and meaningless, when translated The History of a Bit of Bread !
To the translation of Mrs. Gatty, which is in the main an excellent one, for she has generally seized upon the idea of the author and rendered it with singular felicity, it may be very properly objected that she has taken some liberties with the text when there was any conflict of opinion between herself and her author, and has given her own ideas instead of his, which is, probably, what she refers to when she calls herself “ to some extent editor."
The reader of this edition will, in all these cases, find the thought of the author and not that of his translator; for the reason that a careful examination of the original has convinced the publisher that in every instance the author was to be pro. ferred to the translator, to say nothing of the right an author may have to be faithfully translated.
Besides making these restorations, the copy from which this edition was printed has been carefully compared with the last edition of the author and a vast number of corrections made, and in its present shape it is respectfully submitted and dedicated to every one (whose name is legion, of course) who num. bers among his young friends a “my dear child" to present it to.