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* Ad confilium de republica dandum, caput eft noge resņpublicam."
CICERO de Orat. lib. ii.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY WILLIAM CREECH;
LONDON ; DUNLOP AND WILSON, GLASGOW;
ANGUS AND SON, ABERDEEN.
T is now about twelve months since I first had the
honour of circulating among the Clergy of the Church of Scotland a variety of Queries, for the pur. pose of elucidating the Natural History and Political State of that Country. My original idea was, to have drawn up from their returns a general Statistical view of North Britain, without any particular reference to Parochial districts. But I found such merit and abi. lity, and so many useful fa&s and important observations in the answers which were sent me, that I could not think of depriving the Clergy of the credit they were entitled to derive from such laborious exertions; and I was thence induced to give the Work to the Public in its present shape.
It would have been more desirable to have had the accounts of the different Parishes arranged by
byteries or Counties, for the purpose of con. nexion, and to prevent repetition, where the circumstances of the different districts were nearly similar. But it was not to be expected that complete information respecting any one of the larger divisions of the Kingdom, could be at once obtained. It was there,
fore thought most advisable to throw as much varie: ty as pollible into the First Volume, that the Reader might be enabled to form some general idea of the State of the Kingdom éven from this part of the Work. Whether the same plan is to be perfevered in, or whether more regularity and connexion are to be attended to in future, will depend on the unani. mity and dispatch with which the Clergy transmit the necefiary information to the Author.
The variety of business, both of a public and of a private nature, in which I have of late been engaged, has prevented me from arranging or abridging, fo completely as otherwise I should have done, the answers included in this Volume; and, indeed, that part of the Work must be attended with confiderable difficulty, unless the Clergy in general will do, what many of them have very successfully executed, name. ly, tranimit their accounts prepared for immediate publication. Answers to the Queries, however, which have been circulated, are still requested; but, where it is equally convenient, it is certainly more desirable that the Clergy should consider the Queries merely as a key to inquiry; and the models which are now set before them, together with the annexed Analysis, will be of service in pointing out the best mode of draw, ing up the Statistical Account of the different diAricts.