[ iii ]
The Committee appointed by the Royal Society to direct the publication of the Philosophical Transactions take this opportunity to acquaint the Public, that it fully appears, as well from the council-books and journals of the Society, as from repeated declarations which have been made in several former Transactions, that the printing of them was always, from time to time, the single act of the respective Secretaries, till the Forty-seventh Volume: the Society, as a Body, never interesting themselves any further in their publication, than by occasionally recommending the revival of them to some of their Secretaries, when, from the particular circumstances of their affairs, the Transactions had happened for any length of time to be intermitted. And this seems principally to have been done with a view to satisfy the Public, that their usual meetings were then continued, for the improvement of knowledge, and benefit of mankind, the great ends of their first institution by the Royal. Charters, and which they have ever since steadily pursued.
But the Society being of late years greatly enlarged, and their communications more numerous, it was thought advisable, that a Committee of their members should be appointed, to reconsider the papers read before them, and select out of them such as they should judge most proper for publication in the future Transactions; which was accordingly done upon the 26th of March, 1752. And the grounds of their choice are, and will continue to be, the importance and singularity of the subjects, or the advantageous manner of