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"The Egyptians, who made use of hieroglyphics to signify several things, expressed a man who con-
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A PREFACE is at all times rather a difficult article to write. If sprightly, it will be accused of levity; if serious, it will incur the imputation of being dull. The writer of this would go many miles to see the author who could please every reader. Against him who attempts it, the chances are more than equal, that he will displease all.
For a solitary volume, materials may be collected from the work itself, that will furnish variety and spirit, but when year succeeds to year, the path becomes beaten, the resources are exhausted, and ingenuity can scarcely muster any thing new. Hence, he who shall be doomed to write twelve prefaces to the same work, will find himself in a situation, where claims upon his exertions may be more easily urged than gratified.
The case will not be much altered, if, for a periodical, the character of which has been rendered permanent through a series of years, a Preface is annually demanded for twelve succeeding volumes. This is precisely the case with the Editor on the present occasion, and it is only by an appeal to fact that he can hope for assistance, in the accomplishment of his task.
Guided by stable principles, the Editor of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE, has endeavoured to furnish articles of sterling worth; and, so far as an adherence to moral rectitude will allow, to gratify the wishes of its numerous readers. Of these, however, the tastes, pursuits, and habits of reflection are so diversified, that variety becomes necessary to meet their views. Yet even here new difficulties arise; for it frequently happens, that the same article that is approved by one, is surveyed by another without any interest, or perhaps with dislike.
To moral, religious, and scientific truth, the most conscientious attention has invariably been paid. For the accuracy of this assertion, an appeal is confidently made to the columns of The IMPERIAL MAGAZINE, not only during the present, but through each preceding year. By the same attachment to fidelity and rectitude, all its future numbers and volumes will be governed. Under this assurance, the genuine friends of independence, of morals, of religion, and of useful knowledge in general, are earnestly solicited to rally round its standard, and thus continue to support a publication which during twelve years has given such general satisfaction to a large portion of the community.
To our highly respected contributors, we beg to return our grateful acknowledgments for their past communications, and at the same time to solicit a continuance of them. We cannot promise that every thing transmitted shall be inserted. This, many circumstances will forbid.