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The PREFACE.

As I was not bred a Painter I hope some faults in Perspective, and other Niceties, may be more readily excused, for I humbly conceive Plants, and other Things done in a Flat, tho' exact manner, may serve the Purpose of Natural History, better in some measure than in a more bald and Painter like Way. In designing the Plants, I always did them while fresh and just gather'd: And the Animals, paricularly the Birds, I painted them while alive (except a very few) and gave them their Gestures pecu1iar to every kind of Bird, and where it would admit of, I have adapted the Birds to those Plants on which they fed, or have any Relation to. Fish which do not retain their Colours when out of their Element, I painted at different times, having a succession of them procur'd while the former lost their Colours: I dont pretend to have had this advantage in all, for some kinds I saw not plenty of, and of others I never saw above one or two: Reptiles will live many Months without Sustenance, so that I had no difficulty in Painting them while living.

At my return from America, in the Year 1726, I had the satisfaction of having my Labours approved of, and was honour'd with the Advice of several of the above-mention'd Gentlemen, most skill'd in the Learning of Nature who were pleased to think them worth Publishing, but that the Expence of Graving would make it too burthensome an Undertaking, this Opinion, from such good Judges, discouraged me from attemping it any further: And I alter'd my Design of going to Paris or Amsterdam where I at first proposed to have them done. At length by the kind Advice and Instructions of that inimitable Painter Mr. Joseph Goupy, I undertook and was initiated in the way of Etching them myself, which tho' I may not have done in a Graver-like manner, choosing rather to omit their method of cross-Hatching, and to follow the humour of the Feathers, which is more laborious, and I hope has proved more to the purpose.

The Illuminating Natural History is so particularly Essential to the perfect understanding of it, that I may aver a clearer Idea may be conceiv'd from the Figures of Animals

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