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Zetetic Astronomy, by 'Parallax' (pseud. Samuel Birley Rowbotham), [1881], at

p. v



To the various critics who reviewed unfavourably the first edition of this work, and to those also who wrote and published replies to it, my thanks are due and now respectfully tendered. They pointed out several matters which, on proper examination, were not, as evidence, entirely satisfactory; and as my object is to discover and hold to that only which is true beyond doubt, I have omitted them in the present edition. The true business of a critic is to compare what he reads with known and provable data, to treat impartially the evidence he observes, and point out logical deficiencies and inconsistencies with first principles, but never to obtrude his own opinions. He should, in fact, at all times take the place of Astrea, the Goddess of Justice, and firmly hold the scales, in which the evidence is fairly weighed.

I advise all my readers who have become Zetetic not to be content with anything less than this; and also not to look with disfavour upon the objections of their opponents. Should such objections be well or even plausibly founded,

p. vi

they will only tend to free us from error, and to purify and exalt our Zetetic philosophy. In a word, let us make friends, or, at least, friendly and useful instruments of our enemies; and, if we cannot convert them to the better cause, let us carefully examine their objections, fairly meet them if possible, and always make use of them as beacons for our future guidance.

In all directions there is so much truth in our favour that we can well afford to be dainty in our selection, and magnanimous, charitable, and condescending towards those who simply believe, but cannot prove, that we are wrong. We need not seize upon every crude and ill-developed result which offers, or only seems to offer, the slightest chance of becoming evidence in our favour, as every theorist is obliged to do if he would have his theory clothed and fit to be seen. We can afford to patiently wait, care-fully weigh, and well consider every point advanced, in the full assurance that simple truth, and not the mere opinions of men, is destined, sooner or later, to have ascendancy.



London, September 24, 1872.

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