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CLARKE, Printers, Silver Street, Falcon Square.

PREFACE.

The object of the projectors of the “ VILLAGE MAGAZINE” was to provide a medium which should aid in propelling the intellect in the knowledge, and the heart in the love of the beautiful and most attractive objects which the goodness of a gracious God has every where so plentifully scattered around us. They hoped by a gradual and unexaggerated, but forcible, developement of those beauties to awaken some of that earnest yet latent affection for the silent evidences of Almighty Power, which uprear their bright and 'gladdened faces in the sunshine, and bend their gentle heads in the evening breeze, that ever exists in the hearts of the unsophisticated and the innocent ; and, by thus making the pure enjoyments of nature more generally known, and causing them to be more deeply .oved, they trusted to counteract, as far as their feeble efforts could influence, that overweening estimate of science which exhibits its morbid consequence in the almost invariable tendency to artificial life by which the present day is distinguished. They felt how incompetent to this duty they were, and how unworthy of the high task which they had voluntarily undertaken ; but they looked forward to the co-operation of many who thought and felt as they did.

Nor have they been disappointed; for they can point with pride and pleasure to a majority of the contributions which enrich the following pages. Whether they have mistaken the means by which their object was to be effected, or were not fitted for using them aright is not for them to determine.

Of the defects which their brochure exhibits they are fully conscious, though the opinion of their endeavours which has been universally expressed by the critical press of the country, is such

lly to exonerate them from the charge of presumptuous misconception. They are indeed

as

grateful for the eulogy by which this little book has been greeted, for perhaps few works have been so generally or warmly commended. For this kindness their earnest thanks are due, and they are heartily given.

Experience has proved, however, that the plan of their work, if not wrong in its features, was too limited in its extent for the object they had in view. Its projectors have therefore determined to abandon their design for a time, rather than continue it in an insufficient manner; and they will accordingly defer the publication of the next number until a fit opportunity occurs of ensuring its comprehensive success.

To those who have rendered their valuable aid in the course of this little work, the Editor desires to express his deep acknowledgments ;—they will find the best reward of their exertions in the good they have effected. He regrets that he is unable to ascribe those articles to the right authors which have no name attached, they were sent anonymously.

For his own few worthless pieces, he trusts

both they and his readers will accept his apology; they were all written in haste, when there was little opportunity for correction, and while he was under the pressure of various and urgent duties. Hereafter, however, he hopes to have again around him the aid which he has already so valuably experienced, and to turn it, both for the public and his friends, to more pleasing and more lasting

account.

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