Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/16

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Royal Geographical Society.

formed upon philosophical principles, and adapted to different departments of science; more especially as regards those divisions which are founded on physical and geological characters, on climate, and on distinctions in the human race, or of language.

3. A more uniform and systematic orthography than has hitherto been observed, in regard to the names of cities and other objects; and a more precise and copious vocabulary than we at present possess, of such objects.

4. The preparatioins and improvement of road-books for different countries, of gazetteers, of geographical and statistical tables, and all such matters as are of general utility.

The committee cannot take upon itself to pronounce to which, of so many importance considerations as have been enumerated, the attention of the Society should be first directed; the order of precedence most obviously in some measure, depend on the means, rather than the wishes, of the Council. But the Committee are willing to hope that, sooner or later, most or all of the subjects mentioned will engage that attention of the Members to which they appear to be fairly entitled; and that the range of investigation will in no respect be less comprehensive than the title of the Society implies.

In making these observations, which have reference chiefly to facts, the Committee wish, however, to guard themselves against any supposition that might be entertained, of their being hostile to theory; of or recommending to the Society to limit the reception of communications to such only as are the result of actual observation and experiment. On the contrary they are fully aware that great benefits have been, and may yet be, derived from speculative Geography. Theories that do not involve obvious absurdities or impossibilities, but are supported by reasonable probabilities, may serrve as guides to conduct to important discoveries; by exciting curiosity they stimulate inquiry, and inquiry generally leads to truth. And reasonings and suggestions, therefore, in regard to parts of the world deserving of minuter investigation, which are little known, or of which no good account has yet been given, the routes to be ovserved in examining them, the chief subjects of inquiry, and best modes of overcoming the probably difficulties that may occur in the research,—all these will form proper subjects for admission into the proceedings of the Society.

And lastly, The Committee having reason to think that, at no great distance of time, the Society will be able to obtain suitable apartments for the reception of Books, Maps, Charts, and Instruments, they would venture to suggest, that donations of such materials as may tend to the elucidation and extension of Geographical Science, would afford