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THIS little work was undertaken to supply a want which the Author had frequently experienced. In compiling it he has endeavoured to produce a handy book, combining facility of reference with a concise and familiar account of all the known minerals.
In carrying this object into execution, the various names used by different authors have been introduced, as well as certain terms, which, though now obsolete, are, nevertheless, of common occurrence in the works of older mineralogists.
To assist those persons who may wish to know something more about minerals than can be learned from books, and who may be desirous of studying our national collections by comparing the printed descriptions with the specimens themselves, references have (when practicable) been made to the Cases in which they will be found both in the British Museum and in the Museum of Practical Geology.
The copious list of synonyms used by German and French mineralogists, will, it is to be hoped, prove of great assistance to the student in reading the works of foreign authors, as well as in studying mineral collections in continental museums, or in private cabinets at home, according to whatever system they may happen to be arranged.
The names of the authors printed in Italics are those of the persons by whom the minerals to which they are appended were originally examined and named, or they are those of the authors in whose works the mineral will be found described under the name which they follow in the Glossary. The greater part of the work has been written in the country, in moments snatched from the out-door duties of a field-geologist-and is the result either of wet days when field-work was impracticable, of long winter