Before departing on one's travels to a foreign country, it is well to cast a glance on the map, and if we expect to meet and examine many curiosities, a correct itinerary may not be an inconvenient travelling companion. In laying before the public the present work of Mr. Gobineau, embracing a field of inquiry so boundless and treating of subjects of such vast importance to all, it has been thought not altogether useless or inappropriate to give a rapid outline of the topics presented to the consideration of the reader--a ground-plan, as it were, of the extensive edifice he is invited to enter, so that he may afterwards examine it at leisure, and judge of the symmetry of its parts. This, though fully sensible of the inadequacy of his powers to the due execution of the task, the present writer has endeavored to do, making such comments on the way, and using such additional illustrations as the nature of the subject seemed to require. Whether we contemplate the human family from the point of view of the naturalist or of the philosopher, we are struck with the marked dissimilarity of the various groups. The obvious physical characteristics by which we distinguish what are termed different races, are not more clearly defined than the psychical diversities observable among them. "If a person," says the learned vindicator of the unity of the human species, "after surveying some brilliant ceremony or court pageant in one of the splendid cities of Europe, were suddenly carried into a hamlet in Negro-land, at the hour when the sable tribes recreate themselves with dancing and music; or if he were transported to the saline plains over which bald and tawny Mongolians roam.