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W. F. WAKEMAN, AND W. CURRY, JUN. & CO; IN LONDON BY SIMPKIN & MARSHALL, AND J. ROBINS;
WILLMER & SMITH, LIVERPOOL; BANCKS & CO. MANCHESTER; DRAKE, BIRMINGHAM; WRIGHT,
Price 5s. in Twelve Monthly Parts, and 6s. 6d. bound in Cloth.
CONTRARY to the fears of many of its warm friends, and perhaps the hopes of a few interested enemies, the Dublin Penny JOURNAL has, as yet, escaped the fate of brief existence usually attendant on every attempt to establish in Ireland a Periodical, unconnected with sect or party; and having completed a year in its more humble form, as a Weekly Publication suited to the pockets of the poorer classes of society, now appears before the public in the more matured and imposing shape of a Volume, not unworthy, it is to be hoped, of the library of the scholar and the gentleman.
It would be wholly inconsistent with the spirit in which this work has been hitherto conducted, to speak of its claims to public approbation in terms of egotistical praise. But without offence to good taste, some licence may be allowed to its Conductors in explaining to the class of readers into whose hands it is most likely in its present form to fall, the objects they had in view in projecting the Journal—the difficulties they have had to encounter in its progress-and the measure of success which has followed their labours.
The Penny. Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, as well as other cheap periodicals of a similar character and acknowledged merit, had been but a few months in existence, when it appeared obvious that, however excellent in matter as in intention those works confessedly were, they were but little suited to the tastes of a people whose only literary food had been for a long period the highly seasoned and inflammatory stimulants furnished by religious and political animosities. To such a people, the useful knowledge which those works afforded, could have offered but little attraction, and the historical subjects and illustrations with which they were accompanied, though well calculated to excite a spirit of pride and national glory in the minds of Englishmen, had but little such talismanic power of association in the minds of “the men of the Emerald Isle.” The subjects were, in fact, too useful to attract a people unacquainted with the practical value of arts and manufactures -too foreign or too British for Irish sympathies—and too generally serious for the mercurial and laughter-loving temperament of the people of Ireland. Had they been better adapted to this country, the Dublin Penny JOURNAL would not have been thought of, for its Conductors were as much above the temptation to infringe, for the sake of gain, on the ground previously occupied by others, as above the folly of supposing that they had the ability to do so with the slightest hope of success. But the unsuitableness of those excellent works to the peculiar tastes and feelings of the country appearing so obvious, they thought that the opportunity afforded by the novel excitement of penny periodicals, should not be wholly lost without an effort to make it more generally applicable to Ireland. Agreeing, therefore, with its valuable predecessors only in the exclusion of politics and sectarian religion, and in the general desire to be useful and instructive, the Penny JOURNAL started on new and exclusively national ground, and with national as well as useful objects in view. The subjects chiefly chosen were such as were most likely to attract the attention of the Irish people, next to those of politics and polemics, by which their minds had been previously and almost exclusively occupied—namely, the history, biography, poetry, antiquities, natural history, legends and traditions of the country—subjects which can never fail of interesting the feelings of a people. The plan was novel and experimental, and, at the same time, animating to minds zealous for the moral improvement of the country. But its conductors, though not unconscious of the difficulties which were likely to obstruct their exertions, soon found that they had greatly underrated them. They had to excite the attention and obtain the good will not only of the humbler classes who were unaccustomed to any other species of literature than that which the daily press afforded, but also of the higher and better informed, who had generally a deep-rooted prejudice against what was home-bred and national. They had to conquer the jealous suspicions of sect and party, and the dislike of ultras of all ranks from the peer to the peasant, who couldfeel but little cordiality towards a work in which their prejudices found no gratification. They had also to endure, to no inconsiderable extent, the repugnance and opposition of the bookselling trade to vend a publication which gave them much trouble, and produced little emolument ; and to be independent of the aid of the public press, which, perhaps, considered it as an infringement on their peculiar interests. To enable them to surmount such accumulated obstacles, they had no patronage of class or association-no aid from machinery-no auxiliary to their own exertions, except that of enlightened and patriotic minds, who cheered them on with their approbation, and assisted them with their unbought labours. It is by this assistance that they have been enabled gradually to elevate the character of the work ; and if the Penny JOURNAL be, as its conductors anticipate, hereafter considered as a work not unworthy of the country from which it has emanated, it is to such distinguished and disinterested support that it should be mainly attributed.
Under such circumstances, then, it will excite little wonder that the success of the work, however decisive in the establishment of its character, should have been but moderate as regards the remuneration of those who have devoted their capital, their time, and their mind to its support. Such, indeed, has been the fact; and though its sale has been altogether unparalleled for extent in Ireland, yet it may honestly be acknowledged, that were there no higher objects in view than pecuniary reward, the undertaking would long since have been abandoned. But with such objects to stimulate them, its Conductors have persevered, and purpose still to persevere. They have the conviction that their little work is eminently calculated to effect a public good, and that not of a fleeting but a permanent character that its beneficial influence will be but little felt at the present time as compared with its extent hereafter, by exciting a national and concordant feeling in a country in which there is, as yet, so much of discord and party, and by extending a taste for literature among a people to whom it has been but little known, except as connected with political and polemical discussions. To further these objects, the Conductors throw themselves on the good feeling of the well disposed of all classes, and hope for the support of the higher orders, who should feel most interested in their attainment. It is to them that this Preface is more especially addressed. With them it chiefly rests whether the DUBLIN PENNY JOURNAL shall be successfully sustained, because it is through their influence its circulation may be yet more widely extended. To such influence is mainly attributable the success, in the sister isle, of works having similar objects, and should it, in this instance, be withheld from ours, we may venture to say it would be but little honourable to IRELAND.
Dublin, 25th June, 1833.
35 Bent or Sea Reed, Uses to which it may be applied... 88
179 Betham, Sir William, Ulster King at Arms, Letter con-
cerning Tomb in Holy Cross Abbey
corrects an error respecting the
Arms of Dublin
No. 2, James Usher, Archbishop
No. 3, Anthony Malone
No. 5, Lord Charlemont
No. 6, Henry Flood ...
No. 7, John Lynch, R.C. Bishop
No. 8, Charles Lucas, M. D. 389
No. 9, Valentine Greatracks 401
24 Rock Castle, County Cork, description of 49
Stone, virtues ascribed to the
329 | Brien Boroimh's Harp, sketch and description of 48
his will — kills Brodar the Dane -.js
185 British Plants-number brought from foreign countries 124
figures of a winged victory resting on a globe,
and a crucifix
Additional particulars concerning 176
Lady Eleanor, Countess of Desmond, Tomb of,
362 Canute the Dane-notice of the preservation of his
380 Calpe, a stone almost peculiar to Dublin, district de-
22 Caloric, interesting experiment on the nature of 206
135 Calcareous Tufa, Quoins of, in Maynooth Castle 126
5 Canice, St. the Cathedral of, Kilkenny, notice of 92
Memoirs of, with a specimen of his English
48 Carrol O'Daly, author of Eileen a Roon