This book forms the basis of instruction upon the natural history of animals in the secondary schools of France. In no other country is so high a place assigned to the natural and physical sciences as a means of education. It therefore follows naturally that the French have tho best text-books upon these subjects. Translations of their advanced works have been the authorized class-books in American colleges for the last quarter of a century, and Paul Bert's "First Steps in Scientific Knowledge" and "Primer of Scientific Knowledge" have made the successful teaching of elementary science possible in the earlier years of the educational course.
The present work treats the subject of natural history in a manner adapted to the needs of secondary schools, using methods found by experience to excite most interest on the part of the pupil.
In the translation the plan of the original work has been followed closely; but such changes have been made as were needed to Americanize the book.
Tho illustrations form an important feature of such a work. We desire to extend our thanks to Messrs. W. and R. Chambers & Co. for permission to use cuts from the new Chambers's Encyclopædia, without which it would have been extremely difficult to givo the book its present value in this respect.
Many of tho cuts of animals are from photographs, and of special scientific value.