It was originally my intention to bring out two works; one, a description of eclipses, past and future; the other, a cycle of celestial objects coming within the range of a 4-inch telescope, such an instrument being common with amateurs, and a very useful size, large enough to shew what is worth examining, and not too large to prevent portability. On after thoughts, my plan was to abridge both works, and publish them under the title of "Eclipses, Past and Future; with General Hints for Observing the Heavens."
With the solar eclipse of 1870 a considerable interest was kindled as to such phenomena, not a little correspondence passed on the subject in the scientific journals, and there were several inquiries about the next solar eclipse that would be total in this country. This led to certain communications to the "Times" by Mr. Hind in 1871 and 1872. In the first part of the following little work, notices of the eclipses are collected from the earliest days to the present time. A selection may be made from them by those who wish to compute from the tables of Leverrier and Hansen.