Page:Rivers, Canals, Railways of Great Britain.djvu/19

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xiii
PREFACE

railways in many parts of the country, sufficiently prove the interest with which the subject is taken up; whilst from the very circumstance of the rapidity wherewith carriages have been propelled on this railway, it is now probable that ere long his Majesty's mails will be conveyed on the plan introduced by Mr. Dick.

It is not our intention in the present work to enter into a detail of the nature and mode of construction of canals, railways, locks, aqueducts or other works connected with them. Having presented our readers with a brief account of the progress of canals and railways from their first adoption to the present day, we must refer to the following sheets for a more particular detail of proceedings in all works of either description, already executed or in course of execution in England; and it now only remains for us to discharge a most pleasing part of our duty, that of acknowledging, which we do with most heartfelt gratitude, the support and encouragement we have received in the progress of our arduous undertaking. The work has presented numerous difficulties, of which at the outset we had formed no adequate ideas, whilst the expenses, attendant on the whole, have been materially increased by various circumstances, over which we had no control. Cheered, however, by the gratifying list of our subscribers, amongst whom we are proud to number many of exalted rank and distinguished talent in every branch of science, we have surmounted great difficulties and feel confident of having brought our design to a successful termination. In a work of such a nature, the materials whereof were so widely scattered, it is impossible entirely to guard against error or mistake, yet this we may assert, that every care has been taken to state each particular connected with our plan, on as good authority as the most diligent attention and careful reference to original and parliamentary documents could produce, we area therefore, willing to hope, that few mistakes of material import will be found in any of the succeeding pages.

In order to bring down the list of Canals and Railways to the time of the dissolution of the late parliament and thereby to furnish the particulars of every act at present in existence, the publication of the map has been delayed, at a great loss indeed to the proprietors, who have a large capital embarked in the