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THE Plymouth Institution was founded in 1812, for the promotion of Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts, in the town and neighbourhood.
Among other means adopted in furtherance of the objects of the Institution, it has been deemed expedient in the 18th year of its existence, to publish a volume of essays, selected from the lectures read during the annual sittings of the Society.
But since the publication of their lectures is not obligatory upon the members, by the Society's laws, the present series consists exclusively of such as have been voluntarily tendered by the authors ; although it has been found impracticable to include all the papers offered for that purpose, without enlarging the volume to an undesirable extent,
It has been also the object of the Society to confine the present volume as much as possible to those subjects, for the discussion of which, local facilities or other circumstances, give to the
members, advantages not within the reach of their fellow labourers in the field of knowledge. In this point of view, at least, the Society hopes that a volume of its Transactions may not be an unacceptable contribution to the general stock of literary and scientific information.
It may be necessary to add, that the Society does not hold itself amenable for the opinions or statements advanced in the several essays. That responsibility rests with the respective authors.