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The rapid flight of time now proclaims to us that another year is closing, and that it is by the good providence of our Creator that we are permitted to arrive at the period when our last number of the fifteenth volume of the FLORICULTURAL CABINET is completed, and the annual Preface to it is to be presented to our readers. In many respects this is a pleasing duty, as we have to offer, as we now do, our very sincere thanks both to the subscribers for their kind patronage, and who, by calling for our successive labours, encourage us in prosecuting them, and to our correspondents, whose very valuable assistance has so much contributed to the interest and value of the Magazine, and thereby enabled us to offer to the public another volume, being the first of the THIRD SERIES, which we think is not unworthy of the two previous ones, but, in the selection of the newest and most handsome flowers figured, the manner of their execution, subjects introduced and treated upon, as well as the arrangement of the whole, places it in a more elevated position than they.
The successive numbers that form the volume to which this Preface is to be affixed have undergone the examination of our readers, and either been approved or otherwise, according to the varied views and tastes of the individuals. For an Editor to praise what he has done is not consistent with modesty, and publicly to censure what he has done, even if he thinks his labours defective, is scarcely to be expected in the present state of human nature. All that we feel disposed to say respecting the contents of the present volume is, that in preparation it has been our earnest and ceaseless desire, as much as possible, and as far as real ability would admit, to meet the wish of every class of our readers. It is gratifying to us to have to state that not a single complaint has been made to us through the year, but numerous assurances to the improvements effected have been sent from persons whose opinions are entitled to the highest deference. The volume is concluded as those which preceded it have done, as we intend any future ones to do, and must speak for itself; we shall, therefore, leave it to explain and establish its own merit.
Nature is the general name adopted for all earthly things which are not the result of human labour and contrivance; the works of Nature, therefore, abound in almost endless variety, and the science of botany may be considered to be the knowledge of Nature in her vegetable department. In this vast and most interesting field there is ample range for the employment and improvement of every intellect. We shall attempt, in future, to direct the attention of our readers to this instructive and truly delightful subject; and our most zealous efforts shall be employed to advance the art of Floriculture, as well as the science of whatever is connected therewith. To accomplish this, we again most respectfully solicit the assistance of our friends, and we feel assured, having that, the results will be approved. We very respectfully acknowledge our obligations to them, and, in confidence of having future aid, we shall begin anew to evince our gratitude.
To ourselves, Floriculture has a peculiar charm; its practical results are not only delightful to the eye, but exhilirate the finer feelings, expand the mind, and as every flower has a voice with which mankind may hold delightful and beneficial converse, we are anxious that others, with us, should derive the felicity they are designed to afford, tending, too, to raise the mind from the immensity and beauty of what this earth affords, to those brighter regions where the flowers never wither, droop,
Downham, November 21, 1846.