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FROM SATURDAY, MARCH 9th, TO SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14TH, 1844.
PUBLISHED BY J. ONWHYN, 3, CATHERINE STREET, STRAND.
Ar the conclusion of the First. Volume of “The New Parley LIBRARY,” we gladly avail ourselves of the opportunity thus afforded of addressing our numerous friends and readers. Prefaces, in nine cases out of ten, are like the postcripts of a letter, written after the completion of the work. With us it is necessarily so; and we are thus enabled to recur to the progress we have made, to the course we have pursued, the plans we have carried out, and, to say a few words for the future. We trust that it may be permitted us so to do, without incurring the charge of vanity,—the more so, when it is remembered, that at the commencement of our labours, we avoided making high sounding promises, unfortunately too frequently made to realize the adage, "that they are made only to be broken,”-that our little work was ushered into existence with no flourish of trumpets—without the too customary pomp and yet it has succeeded to the very utmost of our expectations, considering the short period which has elapsed since the appearance of our first number ; and we are thus convinced, that the course we have adopted, and the plans we had laid down for our guidance, were not founded in error.
It has been so often asserted that one of the great characteristics of the present age was the desire and search for cheap reading, that it would appear almost a task of supererogation in us to echo the opinion. Nevertheless, such is the case. The mind of man has been gradually awakening from the gloom and sleep of the dark ages; has been slowly but surely bursting asunder the shackles of ignorance, prejudice, and superstition; and in our own day, the progress of human intellect has been indecd rapid, its strides gigantic.
" As the morning steals upon the night,
Melting the darkness," So knowledge has shed her invigorating rays upon the human intellect, upon the peasant as well as on the noble, upon the mass as well as on the once favoured few. Nothing has so much conduced to so desirable an end, as the cheap periodical literature. Like the tributary streams which swell the mighty Nile, whose waters inundate and fertilize the country through which it flows, so do the cheap periodicals, at least those of them whose aim is to instruct as well as to amuse, powr their tributes into the mighty river of knowledge, whose onward roll communicates its fertilizing influence to the human intellect, and raises it from the darkness of ignorance to the glad and perfect light of wisdom.
To us, it is no light satisfaction that we have contributed, and do still contribute, to so noble an end. We were aware, when we ventured before the public, that there were many contemporaries in the field guided by skilful hands and written by able pens; but we had often thought that many, more particularly the younger class of readers, would hail with satisfaction the advent of a work where scientific explanations should be freed from the numberless technicalities with which, even in the most popular periodicals, they were hampered, and at times, rendered almost, if not quite unintelligible ; that parents would gladly avail themselves of such means to instil into the minds of their children a knowledge of the phenomena with which they are constantly surrounded, and of the wonders in science which distinguish our own from every age; not by dry and intricate details from which the youthful mind shrinks with intuitive disgust, but by scattering flowers over the path which leads to knowledge; and that the man whose daily occupations give him too little leisure to pore over
huge tomes and massive treatises would gladly take advantage of acquiring information so prepared, condensed, and simplified. To render the articles to which we allude-our Family Conversationsmore useful, we have added diagrams whenever we feared that the meaning might otherwise be obscured.
To the gravity of science we have added the attraction of fiction, and in this department of our work, whether original or selected, we have been guided by a determination to present nothing which could offend the most fastidious, or raise a blush on any cheek.
A department of the "Library,” of which we trust we may be permitted to make mention, are the Tours and Visits which have formed a prominent feature each week of our publication. By the aid of the Artists' talent we have been able to lay before our readers, not the mere description only, which must ever leave a confused impression of objects and places, but the actual and vivid representations of the localities we have visited; and thus our readers, although seated by their own hearth, have travelled with us to places worthy of note. We have gathered the historical details, culled the legendary lore, and gossiped over their associations. To many of them have been attached considerable antiquarian or historical importance from remote times, when feudal strife and bloodshed were the rules, not the exceptions when deeds of darkness and horror were common in the land. Happily, such times are fled, we trust for ever ; but this very knowledge will add to the interest which attaches to these relics of the past.
In our Miscellaneous Department we have endeavoured to mingle the utile with the dulco-the useful witb the agreeable-to gratify the mind, while we have added to the store of knowledge.
In carrying out this plan, it must be obvious that it entails with it no inconsiderable cost. The greater portion of the " Library” consists of original articles emanating from many authors, whose time and talents demand a corresponding remuneration. The illustrations, too, the productions of talented and skilful artists, are in every way expensive; nevertheless, we can, with confidence, point to this, our first volume, and assert that we are not outstripped by any contemporary.
In conclusion, we tender to our friends and subscribers thanks for the success which has marked our onward progress, and which still attends our efforts—a success not the less gratifying when we reflect how many rivals there are in existence. This success will but instigate to renewed exertions to instruct and amuse. For our future intentions, we can but refer to the present volume, for it is not our purpose to swerve from the course, or alter the plans, which, in our own opinion, have contributed mainly, if not solely to our success. In breaking off our gossipping preface, we can only add to each and all of our readers in the words of one of our olden poets :
“May you for your grace
A CON FOR THE WEATHER-WISE, 36. Bremer Miss, extract from, 127.
Diamond polishing, 111.
Difference between a Poet and a Painter, A good sort of man, as defined by Foote, 122. Burney Miss, remark by, 127.
the, 110. A military anecdote, 245.
Difference between the toil and pleasure of A once fashionable walk, 87. CALOTYPE PAPER, 395.
some persons, 127. A prolific author, 87. Calumny, 22
Difficulties, 86. A quarter of an hour too soon, (a tale), 268, Candles, 38.
Difficulty of obtaining greatness, the, 223. 282.
Capability Greater than Performance, 184. Diffusion of blessings, 319.
Disappointed author, a, 86.
Carisbrook Castle, (Isle of Wight), 329. Dissolving views, 378.
| Dog, the, 319. Abernethy, anecdote of, 207.
Carrigogunnel Castle, (Ireland), 40. Dreams, how to account for them, 141. Acquaintanceship, 132. Changes of the Kaleidoscope, 30.
and realities, in what the difference Action and reaction, 47.
Charles Murray and G. F. Cooke, (a Ghost consists, 106.
Dublin Penitentiary, the, 257.
Chatterton, Lady, remark by, 127. Duelling, 246. Adventure near Granville, (a tale), 187. Chemical Affinity, 118.
Duty, 399. Advice to young folks, 319.
of rendering mutual help, the, 191.
Earth Stopper, the, 428.
Eastern mode of measuring time, 31.
Easy Experiments, 39, 110.
-of Nature, 439. An Irishism, 207.
Chrystals from the Cavern, 39, 72, 90, 103. Education, 159, 392.
-of women, 158. Analogy between sounds and colours, 30. Circumstantial Evidence, 180, 238. Effects of grief, 159. Anatomy of drunkenness, the, 76. Climax and Bathos, 351.
Eldon, lord chancellor, life of, 333.
Electricity, 119, 134.
Elements of animal and vegetable substan-
Coffee Houses of London, the, 293. Ellen Evelyne, or Blighted Love (a tale,) Antidote for prussic acid, 440.
how to make it, 63.
234. Apology for Turkish polygamy, 218. Cold, a slight, 271.
Emancipation, universal, 117.
remark by, 127.
Emblematic properties of flowers, 182. April, flowers and birds in, 96. Common Qualities, 191.
Employment, on, 198. April, notes of the month, 144.
England, naval power of, 30.
Epitaph, an affectionate and blessed, 239. Arched Rock, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Conscience, 239.
Errors of women, the, 46.
Evidence, circumstantial, 180, 238,
Evils of Luxury, the, 148.
Explosive compounds, 362.
Extremes, the two, 84.
Courtier in the Sixteenth Century, a, 16. Family, a, 111.
likeness brought out by age, 122. Average Mortality of all Mankind, 190. Creosote, 278.
reckoning, 395. Cromwell, Richard, 184.
Family Conversations, or, Science simpliBACHELOR, the benevolent old, 148. Crowns and Sceptres, 87.
fied, and Education made easy: Bain's Electro-Magnetic Printing Tele- Cultivation of Vocal Music, 239.
Air, 74: Atmosphere, different states of graph, 250. Cunning, 86.
the, 36 : Aurora Borealis, 327 : Blight, Bandit of Persia, the, 69.
Cuvier's Theory of the Earth, 221, 229, 214: Calotype paper, 395 : Carbon, 20: Bartlemy Fair of real life, the, 55. 262, 285.
Chemical Affinity, 118 : Chemistry, 84: Beauty, 141, 303.
Conductors of heat, 167: Creosote, 278: Benevolence, 127. DAGUERREOTYPE, THE, 411.
Daguerreotype, the, 411: Day & Night, Best and pleasantest place for reading of Dame Julia Berners, 335.
74: Dissolving views, 378 : Electricity all kinds, the, 62.
Dancing, fondness for,in English women, 110 119, 134: Elements of animal and vegeBest place and best friend, 190. Dargle, the, Isle of Wight, 313.
table substances, the, 199 : Explosive Better days, 223.
Davy Jones and the Yankee Privateer, 181. compounds, 362: Eye, the, 214: FerBiter bit, the, or the Boatswain and the Day and Night, 74.
mentation, acetous, 278: Fermentation, Commodore 12. Death, 132.
vinous, 277: Galvanism, 231: GalvanBlack-gang Chine, 344.
of Eminent Persons, 303.
ism-Moulds to receive metallic depoBlight, 214.
of Great Men, 175.
sits, 278: Gilding and silvering, 279: Blighted Love (a tale), 234. Deluge at Bullock Smithy, the, 164.
Laws of motion, the, 104: Levers, 294: Blue stockings, 223.
Deserted Chateau, the, (from the French), Leyden Jar, the, 135: Light, 166, 410: Books, hints on the choice of, 31. 161.
Lucifer matches-instantaneous light,