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Family Mansion of the Buonapartes Spanish Grandee -
of Jerusalem, by Miss Strickland 223 Story Telling
The Dismal Man -
The Speaker called upon for a Song 6
The most perfect Ancient Edifice 33
Humanity of Napoleon
- 204, 216 | The Lady and the Knight - 233
P R E F A C E.
In an age, when all old-fashioned names, and notions, and things are exploded, and novelty is considered synonymous with improvement, whence and how is it that A PREFACE, that venerable piece of impertinence, that chartered nuisance of antiquity, is not pushed from its stool by some smart attractive successor, whose fire-new gloss may at least attract attention, though it should fail to maintain it for any length of time?
But no! The eternal Preface is indestructible — and though its “ brains are out, the thing wont die !” There it stands, staring you in the face, when you seize upon some interesting and much expected volume; and you 'pshaw!' it, as you would some booby finger-post, against which you have stumbled in your rural reveries, and which awakens you from dreams of the old abbey, the haunted castle, or the hall with its gallery of Reubens, Claude, Poussin, and Vandyke (the grand objects of your excursion), not less by the bump which it gratuitously adds to your craniology, than by the shock it inflicts on your romantic trance, with those great staring capitals in which its Briarean arms officiously inform you what you are to expect in your search after the picturesque, and how you are to pursue it.
Wherever you go the pompous monitor confronts you, as pertinacious, as unsightly, and as unwelcome as ever. Neglect cannot corrode it, its own rottenness cannot undermine it,
“ Time cannot wither it, nor custom stale
Its infinite But there we pause--for the next word in the quotation was surely never meant for a Preface! Yes, there it stands, with the same foolish face as ever, and (although far more deserving of a place in schedule A than Gatton or Old Sarum), there it shall stand
“ When Time is old and hath forgot itself,
Serene in imperturbable stupidity, and as little likely to be affected by the reforms wheeling around it, as the village crone to be drawn into the festive vortex around the flowery Maypole.
Behold us, then, beloved Readers, once more in this predicament, standing as the Romans of old, when candidates for the consulship, in the gown of humility -- sordidati was the classic phrase ! -- and imagine us growling to ourselves (as we undoubtedly are)
" Most sweet voices !
For Truth to overpeer!” You cannot imagine, dear Public, how excessively disagreeable it is for us to be semi-annually compelled to point out to your notice, what you should have the sense to discover of yourselves-our own merits, especially as Truth compels us to aver, they are very great.
vogue la Galère !” Hoary Christmas, ancient Christmas, generous, gracious, royal Christmas is come again, and we will once more throw ourselves on the impulses his munificent season inspires. We will make him wag his white beard in his oriel; we will clasp his feet on his siege royal ; our stories shall ring chimes with the winds which chorus round his hall; our lays shall mingle music with the pealing bells, the clanging beaker, and the twanging harp; our illustrations shall rival the storied paintings of his great arched windows, and the coloured imagery of his tapestried walls; while the fleecy snow, overlaid on his high steep roof and turretted louver, shall not be lighter or purer than the feeling which animates and pervades our Christmas Offering.
We devoutly anticipate that THE ANARCH OLD will nod his radiant brow, and extend to us his sceptred palm, and accept our Pictorial Volume, clad in its sombre gorgeousness of purple and gold, with the benignant exclamation
" ESTO PERPETUA!"