This volume, as indicated by the title, is designed to show the way to the
beginner, to satisfy and more especially to excite his initial
curiosity. It affords an adequate idea of the march of facts and of
ideas. The reader is led, somewhat rapidly, from the remote origins to the
most recent efforts of the human mind.
It should be a convenient repertory to which the mind may revert in order
to see broadly the general opinion of an epoch--and what connected it with
those that followed or preceded it. It aims above all at beinga
frame in which can conveniently be inscribed, in the course of further
studies, new conceptions more detailed and more thoroughly examined.
It will have fulfilled its design should it incite to research and
meditation, and if it prepares for them correctly.