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N author is often justly criticised for the manner in
which he has performed a self-imposed task-not unfrequently he is also criticised for what he has not done. I do not expect to be free from the former line of criticism; but at the outset I would remind the reader, as I have elsewhere mentioned, that this does not profess to be a treatise on anthropology, or its methods, but merely a collection of samples of the way in which parts of the subject are studied. The book is not intended for scientific students, nor for experts, but for the amateur and for that delightfully vague person, the intelligent reader.
I must confess, too, that my wish is not merely to interest my readers, but to induce them to become workers. As the learned, wise, and pious John Ray wrote nearly two centuries ago in The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation :
" Let it not suffice us to be Book-learned, to read what others have written, and to take upon Trust more Falsehood than Truth ; but let us ourselves examine things as we have opportunity, and converse with Nature as well as Books. Let us endeavour to promote and increase this Knowledge, and make new Discoveries, not so much distrusting our own Parts, or despairing of our own Abilities, as to think that our Industry can add nothing to the invention of our Ancestors, or correct any of their Mistakes. Let us not think that the Bounds of Science are
fixed like Hercules's Pillars, and inscrib'd with a Ne plus ultra. The Treasures of Nature are inexhaustible. Here is employment enough for the vastest Parts, the most indefatigable Industries, the happiest Opportunities, the most prolix and undisturb'd Vacancies.
"Much might be done, would we but endeavour, and nothing is insuperable to Pains and Patience. I know that a new Study at first seems very vast, intricate, and difficult; but after a little resolution and progress, after a Man becomes a little acquainted, as I may so say, with it, his Understanding is wonderfully cleared up and enlarged, the Difficulties vanish, and the thing grows easie and familiar."
These words of John Ray have many a time stimulated me; may they encourage others to study human-kind. Once more I must insist on the sad fact that the old land. marks are being rapidly removed, and there is a pressing need for immediate investigations in anthropology in this as well as in all the other parts of the world.
It is now my pleasing duty to take this opportunity of thanking those who have assisted me in their various ways.
To my colleagues in different departments of anthropology I offer the thanks of a comrade. I have everywhere endeavoured to render unto every man his dues. The Proprietor and Committee of Science Progress have kindly permitted me to reprint as Chapter V. an article of mine that appeared in the January number of that valuable record of recent scientific advance.
The editor of The Daily Chronicle has courteously given me permission to make use of a series of articles on “ Toys and Games: Their History and Literature,” which I wrote for the Saturday issue of that enterprising journal, and which were published in August and November, 1896, and in January and February, 1897.
Dr. Paul Topinard, the great French anthropologist, gen