The succinct account of the natural history of China given by Sir John Davis in 1836, contained nearly all the popular notices of much value then known, and need not be repeated, while summarizing the items derived from other and later sources. Malte-Brun observed long ago, “That of even the more general, and, according to the usual estimate, the more important features of that vast sovereignty, we owe whatever knowledge we have obtained to some ambassadors who have seen the courts and the great roads—to certain merchants who have inhabited a suburb of a frontier town—and to several missionaries who, generally more credulous than discriminating, have contrived to penetrate in various directions into the interior.” The volumes upon China in the Edinburgh Cabinet Library contain the best digest of what was known forty years since on this subject. The botanical collections of Robert Fortune in 1844–1849, and those of Col. Champion at Hongkong, have been studied by Bentham, while the later researches of Hance, Bunge and Maximo witch have brought many new forms to notice. In geology, Pumpelly, Kingsmill, Bickmore, and Baron Richthofen have greatly enlarged and certified our knowledge by their travels and memoirs; while Père David, Col. Prejevalsky, Swinhoe, Stimpson, and Sir John Richardson have added hundreds of new species to the scientific fauna of the Empire.