The design of the following pages will be most readily comprehended by the perusal of an extract from the author's original preface: "This work makes no pretension to bring forward a large mass of original research respecting abstract questions, although I believe it will be found to contain a considerable number of practical remarks on the use of drugs which are the genuine result of my own observations. It aims, however, at bringing together in a moderate compass a more extensive series of facts respecting the action of drugs, and especially a more enlarged view of what has been done in other countries, than will be found in the ordinary text-books."

The work of the Editor has been to condense the original so as to bring it within the limits of a single volume of the present series, and to render it more useful to the American practitioner, by adapting it to the U. S. Pharmacopoeia. The reduction in size has been mainly effected by omitting the botanical descriptions that in the original edition preceded each of the drugs mentioned. A few unimportant articles of materia medica, e. g., Cydonia, were omitted to make room for others that were deemed more useful. The additions, by the Editor, chiefly concern indigenous drugs, as Gelsemium, Hamamelis, Iris Versicolor, etc., as well as a few of foreign origin (Jaborandi, etc.). These have been briefly considered.

The sections on "Preparations and Dose" have been uniformly (with two or three exceptions) rewritten, in order to substitute (U. S.) officinal preparations for those of the British Pharmacopoeia. After the dose, expressed in apothecary's weight or measure, will be found in brackets the corresponding dose according to the metric system.

The Editor has occasionally made additions to the notes, or to the text, concerning matters that have come within the sphere of his own experience, or are derived from other sources. Among the most important of these latter will be found extracts from the recent valuable researches of Prof. Rutherford and Dr. Vignal on the action of cholagogues. All additions to the original text are enclosed in brackets. Information has been received from the Author, to the effect that the second portion of the work, devoted to the consideration of drugs of inorganic origin, is nearly ready for the press.

The Editor. New York, August, 1879.