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Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/20

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Mr James Wilson, Mr Neill, Mr Hay, Mr Combe, Mr Hamilton, the Withams, the Lizarses, the Symes, and the Nicholsons. The Royal Society, the Wernerian Natural History Society, the Society of Scottish Antiquaries, the Society of Useful Arts, and the Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, spontaneously and gratuitously enrolled me among their members.

In this capital commenced the publication of my Illustrations, and there it might have been accomplished, had not unexpected difficulties come in the way. My engraver, Mr W. H. Lizars, advised me to seek an artist in London. There, after many fruitless inquiries, I became acquainted with Mr Robert Havell junior, who has ever since continued to be employed by me, and who, I am happy in saying, has given general satisfaction to my patrons.

Four years have passed. One volume of my Illustrations, containing one hundred plates, is before the public. You may easily see, good-natured reader, that to Britain I owe nearly all my success. She has furnished the artists through whom my labours were to be presented to the world; she has granted me the highest patronage and honours;—in a word, she has thus far supported the prosecution of my Illustrations. To Britain, therefore, I shall ever be grateful.

Two objections have been made to the mode in which my work is published: the great size of the paper upon which the representations are offered to you, and the length of time necessary for their completion.

As to the size of the paper, which has been complained of by some, it could not be avoided without giving up the desire of presenting to the world those my favourite objects in nature,