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What shall we offer you by way of Preface to the TENTI Volume of FRIENDSHIP's OFFERING ? Not a repetition of what we have said in former prefaces: that would be tiresome. Not an assurance that you will find the present volume vastly superior to all its predecessors : that would be deceptive. We will simply state the fact, that while we have in no respect relaxed in our honest endeavours to render this Work equal to the best of its class in literary and pictorial merit, we have, with not less anxiety, aimed at maintaining the same general tone und spirit by which it has been, during the last five or six years, more especially characterized. We have endeavoured to intermingle, with taste and discretion, the utile cum dulci; and if we have succeeded in realizing this aim, we doubt not that our exertions will be rewarded, as they have been on former occasions, by an adequate share of public favour.
To public favour we this season prefer an additional claim, as the sagacious reader will duly apprehend from the addition to our title. The 'ANNUAL Christmas Fleet (to adopt the commercial style) having sustained very considerable damage in the late heavy gales, from which «The Trade' has suffered so severely, it is a matter of no slight satisfaction to the Owners of the “FRIENDSHIP's OFFERING, of London,' to be enabled to announce to their correspondents at home and abroad, that their good seaworthy vessel (F.O.) has not only accomplished her Jast voyage in perfect safety, while so many others of superior tonnage or pretensions have either actually foundered at sea or sprung most perilous leaks, but that she now clears out for another trip under very auspicious circumstances; having, with a view to encounter still more securely whatever weather may blow, taken on board a capital supply of naval stores and materials (sails, chain-cables, blocks, spars, anchors, fastage, and so forth) formerly belonging to “THE WINTER'S WREATH, of London and Liverpool,' a new built and well formed brig, recently purchased by the present owners (S. E. and Co.); and the most active and steady hands from the late crew of said vessel (W. W.) having been also engaged for F. O. in addition to her ordinary compliment of superior seamen, &c. &c.
But as it may happen, benevolent Reader, that thou lovest not tropes, metaphors, nor similitudes, the simple fact, in plain terms, is as follows:- the Winter's Wreath, a publication very ably conducted, and in its general tone and character not unsimilar to FRIENDSHIP'S OFFERING, is henceforth merged into the latter work; FRIENDSHIP's OFFERING, however, while it thus enlarges its connections and augments its literary resources, still maintaining unaltered whatever is most valuable in the distinctive character by which it is already known and appreciated by the public.
In one slight point we have in the present volume not adhered strictly to our usual practice. We have admitted three little pieces that had previously been in print. These are, the pleasant prose article entitled “Old Maids, and two scraps of verse, * The Tornado,' and a 'Sonnet by Alfred Tennyson;' all originally inserted in the Englishman's Magazine' for August, 1831, – a clever periodical, which amidst the chance and change' of the times and the trade,' was consigned, after the publication of a few numbers, to premature extinction.
With these few remarks, Courteous Reader, and with a right hearty Christmas greeting, we bid thee farewell; indulging the hope, that amidst all the calamities of the times and of the trade,' we may live to greet thee in like fashion this time twelve months, and be welcomed with the same cordiality which we trust, on our present appearance, to experience.
November 1, 1832.