species are well known. Tables of synonyms I have also judged superfluous. Indeed, the technical descriptions and references you will find as appendages to the more generally interesting descriptions of the habits of each species; so that you may read them or not, just as you please. Yet, should you be inclined to enter into these matters, I trust you will find in these appendages descriptions constructed according to the strictest rules of science.
Should you, good-natured reader, be a botanist, I hope you will find pleasure while looking at the flowers, the herbs, the shrubs, and the trees, which I have represented; the more so, I imagine, if you have seen them in their native woods. Should you not, the sight of them in my Illustrations may, for aught I know, tempt you to go and partake of the hospitality of our brethren the Aborigines of America.
Permit me now to address a few words to the Critic, who I fervently hope is a good-natured reader too. This I do with much deference. He has seen my Illustrations, and has judged favourably of them; he has passed his keen eye over this page; he knows the very moderate strength of my talents; and I have only to add, with my compliments, that ever since I have known that such a person as himself exists, I have laboured harder, with more patience and with more care, to gain his good will, indulgence, and support.
JOHN J. AUDUBON.