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“The several Presses which are now in England, and the great encouragement which has been given
Spectator, Vol. VI. No. 367.
Printers in Ordinary to His Majesty;
The Seventh Volume of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE is now brought to a conclusion; and, with its Title-page, Preface, and Index, is here presented to the Subscribers complete in all its parts. This is a task that has been attended with no small difficulty, as the Index, from the number and diversity of the articles which it contains, has required unremitting attention to comprise the whole in the last Number for the year.
With many periodical works, it is customary to reserve these appendages until the commencement of the ensuing volume, and this plan we have occasonally adopted, when the want of time has rendered the measure imperious. Io future, however, we hope, by invariably parsuing the present method, to meet the wishes of our numerous subscribers, and to avoid the appearance of decoying our readers onward from year to year.
Of the motives by which others are actuated, we presume not to judge, but for ourselves we utterly disclaim all such dishonourable expedients, being fully convinced that the pages of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE contain a sufficiency of intrinsic merit to preclude the necessity of resorting to trick and contrivance in any of their forms. This opinion is founded on the flattering testimonies we have received from many who are competent to judge, -on the increasing number, and high respectability, of our correspondents—but, above all, on the extensive circulation which this Magazine has obtained. An inspection of the numerous articles contained in the seven volumes, now before the public, will enable the impartial reader to decide whether our conclusions have been dictated by ostentation or truth.
In a former volume we called the attention of our subscribers to the superior style in which the plates that ornament the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE have been executed, and these we again recommend to their attentive examination. In this department, our object has been'to select the portraits of individuals distinguished in the walks either of literature, science, or the arts; and, having procured correct likenesses, to spare'no ox pense in rendering the Engraving worthy of the countenance that it preserves.
The memoirs, which accompany these portraits, we have sometimes procured with much trouble, and at other times at a vast expense. Thus far, however, we have in general been successful in our exertions, notwithstanding unexpected impediments have occasionally, in the course of publication, separated the portrait from the memoir.
The only instance, during the present year, in which our efforts bave been finally defeated, occurs in May. We then gave an interesting memoir of the late celebrated Mrs. Barbauld, fully expecting that her portrait was within our reach; but we regret to state, that all our endeavours have proved unsuccessful. Of Mr. Thomas Nuttall, now in America, whose portrait appeared in March, we were unable to obtain a memoir until December. Through causes such as these, when the volume is bound, two portraits will appear in November and December, while March and May will have to sustain the deficiency. But such deviations are at times unavoidable.
It has been observed in a preceding paragraph, tbat our highly respectable correspondents have of late increased in number. To all of these, without making any invidious selections, we beg to present our most unfeigned thanks for their kind communications. We are not ignorant that to many of them an apology is due, for the apparent neglect with which their favours have been treated ;-we say apparent neglect, for we can assure them that it is nothing
Our pages can contain only a specific quantity of matter, and in the choice of materials we are guided by variety and utility, as well as by literary merit. We therefore beg them distinctly to understand, that immediate noninsertion by no means implies total rejection. There are times and seasons wben the same article will appear to considerable advantage, wbich, if inserted under less auspicious circumstances, would excite no interest, and be passed by without regard.