In the following pages I have endeavoured to give a brief account of the signification of the different bones composing the human skeleton, and to familiarise the mind of the Student in Anatomy with the idea that the whole body is formed of a succession of vertebral segments. The book is unsuited to those who have not previously rendered themselves well versed in elementary Osteology by the careful examination of the different bones, and by the attentive perusal of some of those excellent systems of Anatomy, which, I am happy to say, have been of late years published by our own countrymen, as well as by continental authors. Nor is it put forward as perfect of its kind, the object being simply to direct attention to those discoveries which have been worked out during the last few years, and which, commencing in the skeleton, have been extended over the nervous, the vascular, and the muscular systems. But until the signification of particular bones is more generally understood, the Science of Anatomy must remain as it is, and comprise with the useful much that is dry, unprofitable, and, in many instances, unnecessarily complicated. I must request those who object to the introduction of new terms to suspend their judgment until they have perused the whole work, and then to consider how far it would have been possible to substitute others in more general use. If those to whom an altered nomenclature in Osteology is so distasteful would denounce .the new terms which have been permitted, without remark, to creep year by year into Neurology, they would confer a real benefit upon the Science of Anatomy. It is important to know the elements composing a "transverse process" of a vertebra: upon their proper determination depends the true interpretation of the muscles, arteries, and nerves which surround it; but it is injurious to the cause of Anatomy to multiply names which are applied, without any physiological deduction, to the undefined irregularities of surface noticed upon such an organ as the cerebellum.
The subject being new to Students, I have laid myself open to the charge of repetition by going over parts of the subject twice in different forms, in the hope that facts of importance might be more firmly impressed upon the memory.
I have, in conclusion, to express my thanks to Professor Owen, for the readiness with which he has afforded me every assistance in my attempt to introduce a system, of which he is the founder, into general anatomical instruction.