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AMIDST all the troubled waters of the present warlike and panic-stricken times, where shall we find rest for the sole of our foot? and who will accept this olive branch of peace and goodwill? Yet, public activity, and joy, and grief, must have their quiet intervals, though it may be few and far between; then, perhaps, an old Family Friend may be welcomed once more, and happy times renewed with old familiar faces.
And now viewing our past and present performances, as in a lengthened tapestry roll of the antique fashion, on which industrious fingers worked continuously from year to year, we ask ourselves anxiously-have we wrought well this portion of our storied web ?-are the colours as fresh and tastefully assorted—the patterns as harmonious, truthful, pure and graphic, as heretofore? In other words, have we worthily maintained our title to the honoured position we have so long occupied in the homes of England? We make no pause for a reply,—that has been given to our highest satisfaction in the continued increase of our subscribers, and the steadfastness of those who have been with us from the commencement of our long and successful
Often, when we have reflected on the vast number of readers of intelligence and refinement to whom we have so long been a household minister, we have inquired what has been the secret of this rare success? and the only solution we could find was this-that we have been in earnest with our work—that we have religiously adhered to the object and principles with which we commenced-that we have introduced nothing in our pages unfitting for the sacred precincts of the domestic temple.
Without boasting, we may say of the volume now respectfully submitted to the reader, that, while in the quality of its mental stores it is not inferior to any of its predecessors, it takes its own ground for variety of topic and
profusion of illustration. We may also observe, that, whilst we have paid careful attention to household utilities, it has been our extreme care to appeal also to the deeper emotions and higher faculties of the mind.
But with all we have done, have we exhausted the field of usefulness? Far from it. We feel the force of that old but true lesson of philosophy, that the more we discover the more we perceive remains to be discovered; and therefore do we hope, year by year, to add to our usefulness and importance; therefore do we assure our friends, that we do not purpose to live upon the reputation of the past, but shall open up new sources of intellectual recreation, and carve out new treasures from the mines of literary wealth by which we are surrounded, the very existence of most of which, and the extent and value of it all, remains popularly unknown. In the meantime,
Our thoughts will still be burning
With affection deep and strong;
To our household shrine still turning,
"Home, sweet home," shall be our song.
In once more taking leave of our friends, we hope the approaching Christmas will come to them redolent with joy, and the advancing year bear on its wings greater blessings to them than its predecessor.