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Burma, Its People and Productions, or Notes on the Fauna, Flora and Minerals of Tenasserim, Pegu and Burma, Vol. 1

Burma, Its People and Productions, or Notes on the Fauna, Flora and Minerals of Tenasserim, Pegu and Burma, Vol. 1

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Excerpt from Burma, Its People and Productions, or Notes on the Fauna, Flora and Minerals of Tenasserim, Pegu and Burma, Vol. 1: Geology, Mineralogy and Zoology

The Chief Commissioner of British Burma having determined to bring out a new edition of Dr. Mason's work, placed the manuscripts of the Zoological and Botanical portions in my hands for the purpose of arranging a thoroughly revised Edition. The mss. In question consisted of various emendations of the printed text, and a very heterogeneous mass of scraps and cuttings, accumulated by my late friend before his death, but which were certainly not all of them intended for publication, but rather as materials for the preparation of an edition he never lived to bring out. Under these circumstances I accepted the office, with the understanding that the work was to be completely rewritten by myself, as that I saw was the only way it was possible properly to amalgamate such a mass of material, and hence the different arrangement of the present edition from that adopted in the previous ones. Indeed, I had no choice in the matter; for several branches of the subject had since been so fully investigated, that the task before the compiler of any new edition of Dr. Mason's work was not so much to incorporate the new materials with the old, as to combine the old materials with the actually larger and fuller accessions to our knowledge of subsequent date; and as Dr. Mason himself (lid not so much claim to be an original observer in the various branches of natural history, as the historian of the labours of other workers in its several departments, I felt that the task I proposed to myself was merely the task that Dr. Mason would himself have undertaken had he been spared thereto, though of course the charm of the popular style of Dr. Mason's writing would be lost, in the execution Of the work by another pen.

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