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N concluding the First
Volume of a Work which,
in an unprecedently short
space of time, has ad
vanced both in circulation
and popularity among the
Working Classes of this
country, its Conductors
cannot do less than return their heartfelt and
sincere thanks to its Patrons and Supporters; while
at the same time, conscious of having done their
duty, they can point with pride and gratification to
that which, without a predecessor, has found its way
into public approval, having nothing but its own
intrinsic merits for an introduction. Experience has long since taught us the fact that, while Ignorance exists, national progress either in Arts or Manufactures is impossible. Education acting as a tie upon societ/, binding each man still closer in the bonds of Amity and Peace, is, in reality, the good genius of the world, since it is only by her presence that mankind can possibly learn the use of the materials which Nature has so bounteously provided to our hands. To her, therefore, our greatest attention should be paid—reverently receiving her gifts as inestimable treasures, the value of which can only be discovered by their absence.
Within the present century the progress of cheap literature has surpassed the point of wonder to gain that of admiration. Casting off the trammels of a system which gave knowledge to the rich and deprived it of the poor, publishers have adopted a less mercenary, though it has proved itself a more profitable system, and the tome for which our forefathers paid pounds can now be obtained by their children for pence. The door of the storehouse of Literature having thus been opened has not been wanting in its good effects—the Working Man can refresh his mind at the fount of Wisdom, and learn to revere and profit by that which he before despised, because he neither knew nor cared what it was, or—as was really the case—because a pecuniary barrier, which it was impossible for him to surmount, withheld him from it.
Following an example which fortunately is the order of the day, the Decorator's Assistant was projected and started in order to supply a want long experienced but hitherto inadequately supplied, and, in the words'of its Prospectus, "to present to the Working Man a valuable book at a small cost—a book that may be read without any of the irksemeness of technicalities, while at the same time completeness is not lost sight of in the endeavour to popularise. Its principal feature is essentially Design as applied to the Useful and Ornamental Arts; and alone secondary to that must be ranked a Record of Popular Science, rendered as practical as possible, and selected witli a view both to interest and instruct."
We have endeavoured to keep our promise, and now flatter ourselves that we have done so. Encouraged by our Readers and the Public Press, we have striven to be still more deserving of their commendations; and, while we have endeavoured to advance the knowledge of the Decorator, we have not forgotten the Man of Science; nor have we been parsimonious with intellectual food sui'ed to the neutral taste of the General Reader.
• • Several of fie following refer to the Anewers to Correnpondents and Answeri to Qu
Acanthus Leaf of the Corinthian Column, pagel.
Alkali in Tobacco, 30.
Amalgam for a Metallic Varnish, (8.
American Patent, 61.
Ancient Smoke, 140.
Anglo-Saxon Architecture, 165.
Applcgath's Printing Machine, 159.
Archimedean Stove, 15.
Architectural Association, 196.
and Interior Ornament, 124.
Armenian Cement, 75.
Ball-room, Goldsmid's, 32.
Bcssomer's Treatise on Railway Trains, &c., C7.
Botanic Gardens, 94.
Brass, &c., to Bronze, 54.
, to Make, 186.
Breaking Gold, 120.
Bridge, a Great, 8.
over the Taff, 136.
British Museum and National Gallery, 99.
Youth's History of England, 160,
Bronzing, 71. ,
Bronze, Manufacture of, in Pans, oi.