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PREFACE.

Most of the facts detailed in the following work have been long before the public. They have been published in several periodicals, and in a letter to Sir W. J. Hooker, which appeared in the Companion to the Botanical Magazine,' for May, 1836. This letter was subsequently printed separately for private distribution among the author's friends. The attention of the scientific world was likewise drawn to the subject at three several meetings of the British Association, and more particularly by an admirable paper written by the late Mr. Ellis of Edinburgh, and published in the Gardener's Magazine' for September, 1839. The simple yet comprehensive principle however upon which plants are grown in closed cases, does not appear to be clearly understood, and many misconceptions yet exist upon this point. The object of the present work therefore is to remove these erroneous notions, and thereby to enable those who wish to experiment upon the subject to do so without risk of disappointment. The author is fearful that in this

attempt he will be condemned by the learned for having entered into needless details, while to those who are wholly unacquainted with the leading principles of botanical science he may not have rendered his meaning sufficiently clear. He has, however, done his best, and can only say in the oft-quoted words of the poet –

“si quid novisti rectius istis Candidus imperti, si non-his utere mecum.”

A grateful task remains. To the Messrs. Loddiges, who may most justly be styled 'Hortulanorum Principes,' the thanks of the author are most especially due. From the very commencement of his enquiries their splendid stores were placed unreservedly at his disposal, and without their kind assistance it would have been difficult for him to have carried on his experiments. He begs likewise to record his obligations to Mr. Aiton, Sir W. J. Hooker, and Mr. Smith, of Kew; to his old friend Mr. Anderson, of the Chelsea Botanic Garden ; to Dr. Lindley, of the Horticultural Society's Garden ; to Mr. Macnab of Edinburgh ; Mr. Mackay of Dublin ; Mr. Cameron of Birmingham; and to various other friends, for numerous specimens of interesting plants received from them at different times for the purposes of experiment. Wellclose Square,

March, 1842.

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