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In laying the first half-yearly volume of his Miscellany before the public, the proprietor cannot omit expressing his thanks for the many favourable notices of its contents which have appeared, and his hope that its future career may not disappoint the expectations which have been from many quarters so flatteringly avowed.
His endeavour has been to combine, in the pages of the Miscellany, local talent with general interest. He felt convinced that the usual prejudice against local publications has arisen from the admission of articles not beyond mediocrity, solely on account of the names attached to them being locally known. He set out, therefore, with the determination that the articles contributed, and not the persons contributing, should form the recommendation of his magazine. In following this principle, some offence has necessarily been giren, and much labour of selection and composition incurred, both of which might have been avoided if another course bad been taken. Whether he has succeeded in his aim, the public will judge: and from the notices above alluded to, he would hope he has not altogether failed.
It was also proposed that the Miscellany should constitute a convenient book of reference for contemporary inventions and the advance of science, and a compendium of useful statistical information. Few persons comparatively have recourse to the books in which these matters are at first announced : and those men of general reading who can select the portions which are interesting or instructive, and impart them to the public mind, are doing a service to the age in which they live.
In one series of articles, “Chapters on Poetry and Poets,” an attempt has been made to convey to the reader the knowledge of the true principles of poetry, and to elucidate those principles by some of their most illustrious examples, ancient and modern. Such an attempt will be variously judged by men of various tastes; and knowing this, the proprietor must say that the reception which these “ Chapters ” have met with, has been such as to assure him, that some of the good intended by them has already been accomplished. He hopes also that it will be found that the admission of poetry into the Miscellany has been guided by similar principles to those laid down in the “Chapters.”
In concluding this Preface he would express his best thanks to those of his literary friends who have contributed to the numbers contained in this volume; and request a continuance of their kind exertions.
NOTTINGHAM, JUNE 1, 1839.