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July 13 , 2009

An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. III (of 4) (Illustrated)


The publication of the concluding volumes of the "Introduction to Entomology" has been unavoidably delayed by the continued ill health of one of the Authors, which has devolved upon the other a considerable increase of labour, and demanded a greater expenditure of time than would otherwise have been required: for though Mr. Spence put every facility in Mr. Kirby's power, and had drawn up a rough copy of every Letter belonging to his department; yet, as most of them had been written several years ago, many curious facts, and a great variety of interesting information subsequently derived from various sources, were necessarily to be inserted, and the whole to be prepared for the press.

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When the thousands of objects that were to be examined, and many of them repeatedly, in composing the Letters on the External Anatomy of Insects, are considered, it will not appear surprising[Pg iv] if some errors should have crept in; especially as Mr. Kirby was deprived of the effectual help formerly derived from the acumen, learning, and judgement of his esteemed coadjutor, by his lamented and protracted indisposition: but it is hoped that these errors will be found of minor importance, and not to affect any general principles advanced. The same remarks are also in part applicable to the Anatomical and Orismological Tables (Vol.III. p. 354-393, and Vol. IV. p. 257-354), which were drawn up by the Authors jointly many years ago, before any other portion of the work was composed, but which have, especially the former, required considerable alterations and additions in consequence of subsequent observations and information.

It will not be amiss here to state, in order to obviate any charge of inconsistency in the possible event of Mr. Kirby's adverting in any other work to this subject, that though on every material point the authors have agreed in opinion, their views of the theory of instinct do not precisely accord. That given in the second and fourth volumes is from the pen of Mr. Spence.

It was originally intended, as mentioned in the Preface, to have given a complete list of Entomological[Pg v] works, of which a large portion was drawn up; but the great length to which more important matters have extended, has rendered necessary the intire omission of this list,—an omission in some degree compensated by the catalogue of Authors quoted, which comprises most of the standard Entomological works.

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