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The conclusion of Humboldt's Political Essay on New Spain is now laid before the Public. The Translator in these concluding volumes has continued to convert the weights, measures, and coins of the Ooriginal, into those used in ngland, with all the accuracy in his power; but he has cautiously and perhaps prudently abstained from taking notice of any seeming oversight or inconsistency of M. de Humboldt, occurring to him in the course of translation. It is hardly possible for a Translator of the most obtuse intellect not occasionally to perceive a vulnerable point in his original; and what the present Translator perceives, or imagines he perceives, he is at no time
very willing to keep locked up from others; but whether from his former notes being intrinsically without merit, or from its being expected that so humble a being as a Translator, should steer at as great a distance as possible from the higher parts of authorship, the Translator candidly confesses that the reception of these notes, so far as he has had occasion to learn, was not such as to induce him to resume the office of Commentator.
From an idea that the weights used in the original, where the contrary was not expressly stated, were French, the Translator uniformly considered marcs to mean marcs of France; and it was not till near the end of the third volume, he discovered that the author meant marcs of Castille, which are to the French as 54] to 576: the conversions of marcs therefore, as far as page 394 of the third volume, are all in a slight degree erroneous, and to be reduced to accuracy require to be multiplied by :93923.
The Translator in printing a list of Errata has no doubt that it might be easily increased by an attentive and intelligent reader. Those who know the difficulty of carrying a work through the press with a tolerable degree of correctness, will not perhaps be the most forward to accuse him of inaccuracy