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Liebig's Chemical Letters



    The Letters contained in this little Volumeembrace some of the most important points of the science of Chemistry, in their applicationto Natural Philosophy, Physiology, Agriculture, and Commerce. Some of them treatof subjects which have already been, or will hereafter be, more fully discussed inmy larger works. They were intended to be mere sketches, and were written for theespecial purpose of exciting the attention of governments, and an enlightened public,to the necessity of establishing Schools of Chemistry, and of promoting, by everymeans, the study of a science so intimately connected with the arts, pursuits, andsocial well-being of modern civilised nations.

    For my own part I do not scruple to avow theconviction, that ere long, a knowledge of the principal truths of Chemistry willbe expected in every educated man, and that it will be as necessary to the Statesman,the Political Economist, and the Practical Agriculturist, as it is already indispensableto the Physician, and the Manufacturer.

    In Germany, such of these Letters as have beenalready published, have not failed to produce some of the results anticipated. Newprofessorships have been established in the Universities of Goettingen and Wuertzburg,for the express purpose of facilitating the application of chemical truths to thepractical arts of life, and of following up the new line of investigation and research- the bearing of Chemistry upon Physiology, Medicine, and Agriculture, - which maybe said to be only just begun.

    My friend, Dr. Ernest Dieffenbach, one of myfirst pupils, who is well acquainted with all the branches of Chemistry, Physics,Natural History, and Medicine, suggested to me that a collection of these Letterswould be acceptable to the English public, which has so favourably received my formerworks.

    I readily acquiesced in the publication of anEnglish edition, and undertook to write a few additional Letters, which should embracesome conclusions I have arrived at, in my recent investigations, in connection withthe application of chemical science to the physiology of plants and agriculture.

    My esteemed friend, Dr. Gardner, has had thekindness to revise the manuscript and the proof sheets for publication, for whichI cannot refrain expressing my best thanks.

    It only remains for me to add a hope, that thislittle offering may serve to make new friends to our beautiful and useful science,and be a remembrancer to those old friends who have, for many years past, taken alively interest in all my labours.

Giessen, August 1843.