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IF authors who may have passed the ordeal of criticism consider it proper to introduce their works by the long accustomed mode of “a Preface,” it is emphatically due from one, who for the first time throws his humble mite into the already overflowing treasury of literature, to explain the circumstances, if not to apologize for the intrusion.
Previously to the projection of the Abney Park Cemetery he had felt deeply interested in that branch of statistics which relates to the interment of the dead, considering, as very many others do, that the burial customs of the metropolis are greatly in the rear of our general social improvements.
In composing, or rather compiling, the following pages, it has been his chief desire to draw attention to the subject of CEMETERY INTERMENT, and to promote its practice.
It would be worse than affectation to deny, that his particular object has been to further the interests, and to endeavour to promote the already increasing success, of the Abney Park Cemetery, by inviting attention to its peculiar points of interest or attraction; but in doing this he shall deeply regret if his observations upon the constitution, or upon the particular circumstances of similar projects, should appear in the least degree invidious.
If, in the general treatment of the subject, he has found it necessary to discuss principles—to condemn practices—or to attempt to dissipate prejudices—he trusts that he has executed the task without the manifestation of inimical or personal feel. ing, although it was impossible to abstain from expressing a decided opinion.
It is essential to add, that, in publishing this volume, the Author has acted on his individual responsibility, and not in his official connexion with the Abney Park Cemetery ; upon him, therefore, must solely fall the responsibility of any statement or opinions advanced.
One feature of this work especially requires some explanation, and that is, the descriptive catalogue of the Arboretum.
The Author's professional pursuits have necessarily led him far away from the quiet, but seductive paths of botanical science, and he has therefore felt it a duty, no less than a necessity, to avail himself of the publications and studies of others. The voluminous and elaborate Arboretum Britanni. cum of Mr. Loudon; the classified Hortus Britannicus of Mr. Sweet ; Mr. Don's Miller's Dictionary; and the fascinating Silva of Evelyn, have been the chief works of reference.
The descriptions are for the most part confined to such points of general interest in connexion with each genus, as it was considered might impart information to the very numerous juvenile parties who take their daily walks within the precincts of the cemetery; and if to such these brief enunciations shall prove interesting or profitable, the end will be fully accomplished.
The Author has been compelled to throw aside much explanatory matter in connexion with each species or variety, which was not only prepared for the press, but composed by the printer ; as it was found impossible to compress the whole within the limits of the work, which has much exceeded those which were originally assigned to it. As the establishment of an Arboretum, in connexion with a place of sepulture, is entirely a new feature, and is not possessed by any similar institution in the kingdom, it may not be uninteresting to state, that all its plants have been furnished from the celebrated collection of Messrs. Loddiges, of Hackney.
The Author begs to apprise his readers of an error into which he has inadvertently fallen at page 279, in mentioning the name of Lord Stowell, instead of that of Sir John Nicholl, another eminent Judge. The sheet had passed the press before the error was discovered.
ERRATA. Page 176, line 11, for 'two’read four. 185, line 13, for 'Arimetha' read Arimathea.
line 15, for 'found' read formed. 196, line 5 from the bottom, for Newinton' read Newington. 251, line 9, for 'are' read is. 363, 'Pæonia’ should have followed Ostrya,' in p. 358.
Fees of Ministers performing
Abney Park, General description of
Cemeteries. Highgate . . . . .
Kensal Green . . . . . 155–163
Consecration, Episcopal, Effects of . . . . 282
Gunston, Thomas . . . . . . 228
„ , Elegy upon . . . . . 232