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THE present Volume of Sports, Pastimes, Games, Amusements, and Agreeable and Instructive Pursuits for Boys, is offered to each and every one among the large mass of readers, great and small, who may take an interest in the subject, or in any one of the multifarious branches into which it divides itself. Books devoted to the description of boyish games and sports already exist among us in large numbers; and their numbers are daily swelled by new arrivals. But the great majority of these books, useful, and indeed admirable as they in many instances are, would seem to be confined to what appears only a portion, and not even the most important portion of the subject. They contain games and sports enough and to spare; but here many of them end. Little or no mention is made of the pursuits and amusements of a boy during the holiday weeks spent in the country or at the sea-side. The aquarium and its wonders—the marvels of the deep, and the nature and habits of its finny denizens-the green lanes and sunny meadows, with their thousand objects of curiosity and interest— all these are passed over, as if it were not worth while to call the attention of our boys to them. Gardening, too—a pursuit which, while highly amusing and healthful, calls forth all the best working faculties of a lad, exercising at once his industry, patience, and ingenuity— is generally too cursorily treated, and in some books is wanting altogether. In other manuals, again, a large portion of space is found occupied by matter which can hardly be considered in place in a book designed for the amusement of boys. It may be well doubted whether science can ever be adequately taught in a play book, and "philosophy in sport" can hardly be satisfactorily made "science in earnest " to a lad during his time of recreation. The space devoted in many works to mere crude outlines of science, and to arithmetical puzzles and matters of a similar kind, which not one boy in a hundred looks upon as at

all amusing, has here been filled with what it is hoped will prove metal more attractive to our young readers; namely, particulars respecting the country, the wonders of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, details concerning the horse, &c. &c. In short, while it is believed that no subject legitimately within the scope of a book of sports, pastimes, and amusements, has been here left unrepresented, care has been taken to eliminate all those unnecessary and discordant elements which either fill space unprofitably, or do harm rather than good, by affecting to handle in jaunty, easy style, subjects which should be approached with seriousness, as they constitute a task, not an amusement, and are fitted for the hours of labour, but certainly not for those of play. In the working out of the design of this volume, no expense and no pains have been spared; the great object has been to treat of each subject as it occurred with all possible completeness, without unnecessary detail; and it is conscientiously believed that in the space of nearly four hundred closely-printed pages, this task has to some extent been accomplished. The illustrations, it will be seen, are numerous, and carefully executed. And so, with the hope that it may find favour with those whom it has been their earnest endeavour to please, the Authors and Publishers commend this book to their young friends, the Boys of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the British dependencies throughout the known world



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