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compass, so copious a mine of brilliant gems, so rich a store of compositions of all classes, gay and grave interesting either by their humour, their pathos, and their information, and which the first living writers might be proud to own.

Of the present volume, individually, little need be said : it is before the reader, and will speak for itself. One thing, however, I must not omit, namely, this public expression of the grateful acknowledgments of the publishers to Colonel de Ceva, aide-de-camp to His Majesty the King of the Netherlands. To the liberality of that gentleman they are indebted for the subjects of two of the embellishments, which he permitted to be copied for this work, from paintings in his elegant gallery at the Hague. They are those which have been entitled “ Louis XI. at Plessis-les-Tours," and “The Surprise of Montrose," and to which Miss Lawrance and Allan Cunningham have furnished highlyspirited and characteristic illustrations.

LONDON:

P. SHOBERL, JUN., 51, RUPERT STREET, HAYMARKET,

PRINTER TO H.R. H. PRINCE ALBERT.

PREFACE.

CHANGE is the lot of man; and it were folly to repine at that which is one of the conditions on which he holds existence. From the operation of this universal law of Nature, his works are not exempt, any more than himself. I am naturally led to this reflection at the present moment, when I have to perform the duty of introducing to the public the twentieth volume of this Miscellany. During the twenty years of its career, this work has partaken of that character of change which attaches to all human things. Born in helplessness, it soon started into adolescence, and advanced from youth to manhood; and I fear no contradiction, when I assert that, in these different stages of its existence, the professed aim and object of this publication—to amuse the mind, to improve the heart, to cultivate the purest affections, to encourage the highest and holiest feelings of our nature have never been lost sight of.

But if the pervading spirit and principle continue the same, how different the agents ! How

of those to whose aid the earliest volumes of this Annual were indebted have passed, mostly in the flower of their age, to “ that undiscovered country from whose bourne no

many

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