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AN ALPHABETICAL DIGEST
INCLUDING SOME MORE ESPECIALLY MILITARY AND SCIENTIFIC, BUT USEFUL TO SEAMEN;
AWD GLASGOW AND EDINBURGH.
The recent loss of Admiral William Henry Smyth, noticed as it was by the leading periodicals, will have recalled to many, not only the social character and amiable qualities of the compiler of this Work, but also his distinguished professional career and high reputation as an officer, a navigator, and a seaman, which will be a guarantee for the details of this posthumous publication.
When, in 1858, the Admiral reached the allotted term of threescore years and ten, yet in perfect health, he executed his resolution of resigning to younger men the posts he held in the active scientific world, and concentrated his attention, at his quiet and literary retreat of St. John's Lodge, near Aylesbury, on reducing for the press the vast amount of professional as well as general information which he had amassed during a long, active, and earnest life: the material for this “Digest” outstanding as the last, largest, and most important part of it. Had he survived but a few months more, a preface in his own terse and peculiar style, containing his last ideas, would have rendered these remarks unnecessary; but he was cut off on the 8th of September, 1865, leaving this favourite manuscript to the affectionate care of his family and friends. By them it has been most carefully revised; and is now presented to the public, especially to his honoured profession, for the benefit of which he thought and worked during the long period which elapsed between his leaving the quarter-deck and his death; as his Charts (constructed from his numerous surveys), his twenty years' Essays in the United Service Journal, his efforts to render his astronomical researches accessible to seamen,-all testify.
Admiral Smyth was what has been called a common placer. He had the habit of methodically storing up, through a long series of