THE CRUISE OF THE BETSEY
or a summer holiday in the Hebrides
RAMBLES OF A GEOLOGIST
Ten Thousand Miles over the Fossiliferous Deposits of Scotland
BY HUGH MILLER
author of "The Old RedSandstone,í etc. etc.
WILLIAM P. NIMMO & CO.
Naturalists of every class
know too well how Hugh Miller died - the victim of an overworked brain and
how that bright and vigorous spirit was abruptly quenched for ever.
During the month of May
(1857) Mrs. Miller came to Malvern, after recovering from the first shock
of bereavement, in search of health and repose, and evidently hoping to do
justice, on her recovery, to the literary remains of her husband.
Unhappily the excitement and anxiety naturally attaching to a revision of
her husbandís works proved over much for one suffering under such recent
trial, and from an affection of the brain and spine which ensued; and, in
consequence, Mrs. Miller has been forbidden, for the present, to engage in
any work of mental labour.
Under these circumstances,
and at Mrs. Millerís request, I have undertaken the editing of "The Cruise
of the Betsey, or a Summer Ramble among the Fossiliferous Deposits of the
Hebrides," as well as "The Rambles of a Geologist," hitherto unpublished
save as a series of articles in the "Witness" newspaper. The style and
arguments of Hugh Miller are so peculiarly his own, that I have not
presumed to alter the text, and have merely corrected some statements
incidental to the condition of geological knowledge at the time the work
was penned. The "Cruise of the Betsey" was written for that well-known
paper, the "Witness," during the period when a disputation productive of
much bitter feeling waged between Free and Established Churches of
Scotland; but as the Disruption and its history possesses little interest
to a large class of the readers of this work, who will rejoice to follow
their favourite author among the isles and rocks of the "bonnie land," I
have expunged some passages, which I am assured the author would
have omitted had he lived to reprint this interesting narrative of his
geological rambles. Hugh Miller battled nobly for his faith while living.
The sword is in the scabbard: let it rest!
Pendock Rectory, October 1, 1857
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