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ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by
REMBRANDT PEALE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
Stereotyped by L. Johnson, Philadelphia.
C. Sherman, Printer.
THE beautiful creations of this wonderful world are chiefly manifested through the sense of sight, and especially all that relates to form and colour, distance, light, and shade ; with every variation incidental to night and day; through mist and fog; in the dim twilight; by the lamp's mellow beam ; the cool reflection of the moon; or the copious outpourings of the glorious sun. All these variations of objects and effects are minutely pictured on the retina of the eye, at the instant of their occurrence ; and afford pleasure as much by their immediate novelty as their truth,—the novelty of their endless combinations, and the undeviating truth and certainty of their impressions. These constitute a succession of pictures, which not only gratify us by their beauty and perfection at the moment of perception, but continue to delight the imagination, as they are afterwards reproduced by the memory, and contemplated in the mind,-a moving mental gallery. Thus manifestly has it been the design of a beneficent Creator to endow us with the means of a rational, innocent, and most abundant enjoyment, which it is gratitude to receive and wisdom to employ.
The other senses, however highly they may be prized, are productive of inferior enjoyments, though essential to existence; as the proper nourishment of our bodies might be neglected, but for the stimulation of hunger, and the