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IT has been our pleasing duty, during the course of the present Volume, to point out the retrenchments which the House of Commons has been able to effect in the various branches of the public service. The arrangements for the reduction of the Five per Cents, and the measures for dividing the Pension List between the present and the succeeding generations, have enabled the Ministers, in union with the curtailment of our Establishments, to procure a clear surplus of five millions of revenue, as a Sinking Fund; and to repeal the War Malt Tax, nearly the whole of the Salt Tax, half of the Leather Tax, and several minor imposts. The firmness with which our Rulers have held to the great principles of public credit, entitles them to the lasting gratitude of the Country. They have secured what can alone preserve the integrity of our Financial arrangements an efficient Sinking Fund. The Revenue, notwithstanding the evident pressure on all classes, particularly on the Agricultural interest, has even exceeded the former year. May we not hope, then, with respect to public affairs, that the prospect will brighten ?
The situation of the Sister Kingdom is too afflicting to contemplate; but it has afforded to Great Britain an opportunity of displaying one of ber most glorious distinctions. This irresistible call on her humanity, we are proud to say, has met with a correspondent feeling in all who possess the ability to succour human woe.
On opening the present Volume, our Readers will doubtless perceive some slight alterations in the editorial and typographical arrangements. We think proper to notice this circumstance, because our pages, from the even tenor and unshaken stability of this Publication, have not, like many others, been exposed to the whims and caprice of fashion. For the purpose of compressing more matter into each Number, we have adopted a type rather smaller and much closer than heretofore; and in order to introduce more original papers (the omission of which has been the cause of continual complaints), we have abridged some departments, and condensed others. Thus, in our Historical Chronicle, that information alone has been selected which is valuable for future reference. Our Obituary, which may be considered of the highest importance to the Biographer and Genealogist, has undergone a material alteration. Every individual of whom any biographical or interesting memorials can be obtained, is placed in the first department of the Obituary, according to rank or situation in life. With regard to those persons of whom no particulars can be gained, we have united the advantages of a Topographical and Chronological arrangement.
Of these alterations many of our Readers have expressed their decided approbation ; while others have lamented the change, and exclaimed, with regret, “Quantum mutatus ab illo !" One of our old and esteemed Friends, in particular, assures us that if he had the hands of Briareus, every one of them, were the question put to the vote, should be held up against the new-fangled plan of condensing the “ Deaths ;" another declares they present so confused a mass, that it would require the eyes of Argus to discriminate one from another; a third accuses us of curtailing the usual number of deceased individuals; a fourth expatiates on the inutility of recording a dry list of names ; and many object to the “innovation," without even a “why” or a “where