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PREFACE.

The appearance of a new volume, like that of a new acquaintance, generally requires introduction ; but what introduction can be needed for the regular visitant-who comes with the roses of June, and the holly of Christmas, and whose objects and sentiments everybody knows and appreciates ?

No, the time has long passed since the “Family Friend” needed formal presentation to the public. But custom makes laws which cannot be lightly disobeyed ; and to the custom of a Preface we must submit just now, although ours will be simply a Preface of Negatives.

We are not going to descant on any of the topics usual to such performances—for that there is nothing new under the sun, is quite as true of Prefaces as of anything else. Like Canning's needy “KnifeGrinder, we “have no tale to tell ”—further than to say this volume is chiefly a continuation of the preceding, especially in regard to those valuable series of papers, Zoology and French, which are here completed. Neither may we dwell on the merits of the contributors to this volume; for, though they do not hide their light under a bushel, they are certainly content to hide themselves; and what can their writings require from us to recommend them ? Surely nothing—for their appearance here are sufficient guarantee that they are all good and true family reading, calculated to maintain the character of our Magazine ; and which,

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