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FUNDAMENTAL POINTS IN THAT SCIENCE,
AN EXAMINATION OF SOME
MODERN GEOLOGICAL SYSTEMS,
AND PARTICULARLY OF THE
HUTTONIAN THEORY OF THE EARTH.
J. A. DE LUC, F.R.S.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH MANUSCRIPT,
REV. HENRY DE LA FITE, M. A.
OF TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD.
PRINTED FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON,
NO. 62, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD.
THE friendship, with which I am honoured by Mr. De Luc, induced him some time ago to communicate to me a Treatise on Geology, intended for the French Press. He was de. sirous that this work should appear land, which he has for thirty-six years considered as his native country; and at his request, I ventured to undertake the following translation, which has been conducted and completed under his immediate inspection.
In revising his work, previously to its translation, some alterations occurred to the author as expedient. The French and English publications will therefore occasionally differ. . The Letters also to Dr. HUTTON, published A 2
in the Monthly Review, are omitted in this work, though inserted in the original now printing at Paris.
To establish some fundamental points in Geology, is the principal object of Mr. De Luc; an object necessarily connecting almost every branch of the physical sciences, with the History of the Earth. This is clearly shown in the following pages, and the attention of the student is directed to the precise points of natural philosophy and natural history, embraced by geology, and which have long excited a considerable interest.
Mr. De Luc has not yet been able to prepare for publication his earlier travels in Switzerland and in Germany, from the year 1782 to 1799. But he considers those which will shortly appear in English, containing his ob- , servations on some parts of the coasts of the Baltic and North Seas, and in different parts of England, as sufficient to establish all the propositions of the theory, the critical discussion of which forms the subject of the present work,
It has been justly observed that the discoveries in the physical sciences, of which recent times may boast, are to be ascribed to the influence of those rules of legitimate philosophy which were established by Lord Bacon two centuries ago. To these rules no philoso- • pher has more 'scrupulously adhered than the excellent author of this work; and while he has thus largely contributed to rescue geological science from the disgrace of visionary theories, he has advanced a system which makes a strong appeal for its truth to facts easily verified, if their certainty be disputed.
The origin and nature of Man form the ultimate objects of Mr. De Luc's inquiries. A knowledge of the History of man, he has observed, is indispensably necessary in order to investigate with success these most interesting subjects: and as his History is intimately connected with that of the planet which he inhabits, it becomes requisite to study with attention the monuments of the revolutions which the surface of the globe has undergone,