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SOLD ALSO WHOLESALE Br
Groombridge, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row; Simms, Bath; Drake, Birmingham; WESTLEY And Co.,
Price 4*. 6rf. in Nine Monthly Parts, and G v. bound in Cloth.
dnglcsea—Rev. E. Williams/
Rev. W. Johnson.
AMurtun—J. F. Kingston, Esq.
Paul Moon James, sq., Treasurer,
Bonn—Leonard Homer, Esq F.R.8.L. Si K.
3. Reynolds, sq., Treasurer.
1. B. Estlln, EST, Under secretary.
Rev. Prof. Henslow, M.A, F.L.S. & GS.
Rev. Leonard Jenyns, M.A, F.L.S.
Bev. John Lodge, M.A.
Rev. Geo. Peacock, M.A, F.R.S. & G.S.
Rev. Prof. Sedgwlck, M.A, F.R.S. & C.S.
Professor Smyth, M.A.
Rev. C. Thiilwall, M.A.
B. W. Rothman, sq., M.A, F.R. A.I. Is OS,
Rev. Geor« Wadding/ton.
William Roberts, Esq.
Henry Potts, Esq.
Rev. Mr. Thorp.
— Wardell, Esq.
-r- Wedge, Esq.
and C. C. Dendy, Esq.
Denbigh—Jonn Madocks, Esq.
Thomas Evans, Esq.
John Coles, Esq.
J. Tyrrell, Esq.
D. Bannatyne, Esq.
Rt. Grahame, Esq.
Alexander McGrtcror, Esq.
Charles Tennant, Esq.
Mr. T. Atkinson, Honorary Secretary.
Rev. B. R. Paul, Lantwlt.
W. Williams, sq., Aberpergwm.
Benjamin Gott, Esq.
J. Marshall, Jun., Biq.
Dr. Tralll, Chairman.
J. Mulleneux, Esq., Treasurer.
Rev. W. Shepherd.
J. Ashton Yates, Esq.
G. W. Wood, Esq, Chairman.
Benjamin Heywood, sq., Treasurer.
T. W. Winstanley, sq., Hon. Sec.
Sir G. Philips, Bart., M.P.
Monmnutk—3. H. Moggrldge, Eiq.
Rev. W. Turner.
T. Cooke, Jun., Esq.
R. G. Kirkpatrick, Esq.
Richard Bacon, Esq.
Rev. P. Ewart. M.A.
Humphreys Jones, Esq.
Henry Coppock, Esq^ Secretary
John Rundle, Esq.
The Rev. William Field, (Llfmnatonl.
Dr. Hastings, M.D.
C. H. Hebb, Esq.
J. E. Bowman, Esq., F.L.S., Treasurer.
Major William Lloyd.
DAWSON Turner, Esq.
John Wood, Esq., M. P.
THOMAS COATES, Secretary, No. 59, Lincoln's Inn Field
Printed by William S, Stamford Street.
Upon the completion of the First Volume of the ' Penny Magazine,' it may not be inexpedient to offer a few observations to the purchasers of this little work, whose sale has been justly regarded as one of the most remarkable indications of the extent to which the desire for knowledge has reached in the United Kingdom.
It was considered by Edmund Burke, about forty years ago, that there were'eighty thousand readers in this country. In the present year it has been shown, by the sale of the ' Penny Magazine,' that there are two hundred thousand purchasers of one periodical work. It may be fairly calculated that the number of readers of that single work amounts to a million.
If this incontestable evidence of the spread of the ability to read be most satisfactory, it is still more satisfactory to consider the species of reading which has had such an extensive and increasing popularity. In this work there has never been a single sentence that could inflame a vicious appetite; and not a paragraph that could minister to prejudices and superstitions which a few years since were common. There have been no excitements for the lovers of the marvellous—no tattle or abuse for the gratification of a diseased taste for personality—and, above all, no party politics. The subjects which have uniformly been treated have been of the broadest and simplest character. Striking points of Natural History —Accounts of the great Works of Art in Sculpture and Painting—Descriptions of such Antiquities as possess historical interest—Personal Narratives of Travellers—Biographies of Men who have had a permanent influence on the condition of the world'—Elementary Principles of Language and Numbers— established facts in Statistics and Political Economy—these have supplied the materials for exciting the curiosity of a million of readers. This consideration furnishes the most convincing answer to the few (if any there now remain^ who assert that General Education is an evil. The people will not abuse the power they have acquired to read, and therefore to think. Let them "be addressed in the spirit of sincerity and respect, and they will prove that they are fully entitled to the praise which Milton bestowed upon their forefathers, as "a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit,— acute to invent, subtile and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to."
It must not, however, be forgotten that some of the unexampled success of this little work is to be ascribed to the liberal employment of illustrations, by means of Wood-cuts. At the commencement of the publication, before the large sale which it has reached could at all have been contemplated, the cuts were few in number, and partly selected from another work of the Society—the ' Library of EntertainingKnowledge.' But as the public encouragement enabled the conductors to make greater exertions to give permanency to the success which the 'Penny Magazine' had attained,, it became necessary to engage artists of eminence, both as draughtsmen and wood-engravers, to gratify a proper curiosity, and cultivate an increasing taste, by giving representations of the finest Works of Art, of Monuments of Antiquity, and of subjects of Natural History, in a style.that had been previously considered to belong only to expensive books. In the prosecution of this undertaking there have been great mechanical difficulties. The wood-cuts, as well as the text, are transferred to stereotype plates—and the impressions are rapidly printed from these plates by machinery. In this process there can of course be no delicate and careful adjustment, such as is found necessary in printing wood-cuts by the common press. The average number of the ' Penny Magazine,' printed daily from two sets of stereotype plates, is sixteen thousand, on both sides;—at the common printing press, one thousand impressions, on both sides, can only be obtained, even where particular care is not required. Seeing, therefore, that the speed with which the ' Penny Magazine' is printed, is sixteen times greater than in ordinary printing, some indulgence must be made for defects in the wood-cuts, as they appeared in a few of the early numbers. Those defects have been now almost entirely overcome, by the talent of the engravers, adapting their art to a new process.
It may not be uninteresting to mention two or three facts here, which may possibly be more systematically and fully pointed out hereafter, for the purpose of showing that such a work as the ' Penny Magazine* could not exist in its present state—and its present state is dependant upon its large sale— except in a country where civilization is carried forward to very high degrees of perfection. The vast number of the existing race of readers, to which we have already alluded, might be supposed sufficient to warrant this assertion; but let us examine it a litde more in detail.
The Number of the' Penny Magazine' which the reader is now perusing will be left ready to be printed off—to "go to press " as it is technically termed—on the 19th of December. Its previous preparation will have employed writers and artists, and that class of printers called compositors, for several weeks. The paper for 100,000 copies, (the quantity required for the consumption during the first month after publication,) consisting of I GO double reams (each sheet printing two copies), will have been previously delivered from the mill, and will have been charged with the excise duty of '3d. in the Ib. upon 5,600 Ibs.— the tax. upon that quantity amounting to 70/. Up to this point a great deal of technical knowledge and mechanical skill will have been employed. Chemical knowledge and machinery are indispensable in the manufacture of the paper; and without the very ingenious invention of Stereotype Founding, in which great practical improvements have been made within a few years, the 'Penny Magazine' could not be printed in duplicate, which diminishes the expense, nor could the supply be proportioned to the demand. As we have already explained, the printing machine begins its work when every preparation is complete. In ten days one machine produces 160,000 copies from two sets of plates. If the printing machine had not been invented it would have taken a single press, producing a thousand perfect copies each day, one hundred and sixty days, or more than five calendar months, to complete the same number. We see, therefore, that up to this point there are many conditions for the production of a Penny Magazine which could not exist except in a high state of. civilization, where there were large accumulations of knowledge.
This Number of our periodical work, which thus goes to press on the 19th of December, will be sold in every part of the United Kingdom, generally on the 1st of January,—in remote districts, on the 3d or 4th at latest. No one who wishes for a copy of this Magazine, whether in England, Scotland, or Ireland, can have any difficulty in getting it, if he can find a bookseller. The communication between the capital and the country, and between large towns in the country and villages, is now so perfect, that wherever there is a sufficient demand of any commodity there will be a supply. But the ' Penny Magazine' is still a Penny Magazine all over the country. No one charges three-halfpence or twopence for it. The wholesale dealer and the retailer derive their profit from the publisher; and the carriage is covered by that profit. But that, could not be if there were not cheap as well as ready comtnunUiation through all parts of the United Kingdom. The steam-boat upon the seas—the canal— the railway—the quick van—these as well as the stage-coach and mail—place the ' Penny Magazine' within every one's reach in the farthest part of the kingdom, as certainly as if he lived in London, and without any additional cost. This is a striking illustration of the civilization of our country; and when unthinking people therefore ask, what, is the benefit of steam-engines, and canals, and fine roads to the poor man, they may be answered by this example alone. In this, as in all other cases, ready and cheap communication breaks down the obstacles of time and space,—and thus, bringing all ends of a great kingdom as it were together, greatly reduces the inequalities of fortune and situation, by equalizing the price of commodities, and to that extent making them accessible to alL
Some people have foolishly said that the ' Penny Magazine' is a monopoly. There were formerly a great many monopolies of literature in this country;—that is, certain privileges were granted by the government to particular individuals, with the intent of diminishing the circulation of books by keeping up the price. Then the government, was afraid that, the people would learn to think. The object of those concerned in the ' Penny Magazine' is, contrary to the spirit of a monopoly, to circulate as many copies as they can, as cheaply as they can. This Work has no exclusive privileges, and can have no exclusive privileges. It stands iipon the commercial principle a/one; and if its sale did not pay its expenses, with a profit to all concerned in it. (except to the individual members of the Society who give it the benefit of their superintendence), it would not stand at all. The Society has no funds to assist the ' Penny Magazine;' for its subscriptions are scarcely sufficient to defray the rent of the chambers in which it holds its meetings. But the ' Penny Magazine' contributes materially to the funds of the Scciety, which funds arc ready to be devoted to new undertakings, where success may not be so assured. The public, who buy the ' Penny Magazine' to the extent of two hundred thousand, arc its only pecuniary supporters. It is the duty of those who receive this large encouragement to carry forward their work to as high a point of excellence as they may attain by liberal and judicious arrangements.
December 18th, 1832.
Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY.
[march 31, 1832.
READING FOR ALL. In a book upon the Poor, published in 1673, called 'The Grand Concern of England explained,' we find the following singular proposal:—" that the multitude of stage-coaches and caravans, now travelling upon the roads, may all, or most of them, be suppressed, especially tnosc within forly, fifty, or sixty miles of London." The evil of the stage-coaches is somewhat difficult to be perceived at the present day; but this ingenious author had no doubt whatever on the matter, "for," says he, "will any man keep a horse for himself and another for his man, all the year, for to ride one or two journies, that at pleasure, when he hath occasion, can step to any place where his business lies, for two, three, or four shillings, if within twenty miles of London, and so proportionably into any part of England?"
We laugh at the lamentation over the evil of stagecoaches, because we daily see or experience the benefits of the thousands of public conveyances carrying forward the personal intercourse of a busy population, and equally useful whether they run from Paddington to the Bank, or from the General Post-Office to Edinburgh. Some, however, who acknowledge the fallacy of putting down long and short stages, that horses may be kept all the year, "for to ride one or two journies," may fall into the very same mistake with regard to knowledge that was thus applied to communication. They may desire to retain a monopoly of literature for those who can buy expensive books; they may think a five-guinea quarto (like the horse for one or two journies) a public benefit, and look upon a shilling duodecimo to be used by every one " at pleasure, when he hath occasion," (like the stagecoach,) as a public evil.
What the stage-coach has become to the middle classes, we hope our Penny Magazine will be to all classes— a universal convenience and enjoyment. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge have considered it proper to commence this publication, from the belief that many persons, whose time and whose means are equally limited, may be induced to purchase and to read it. The various works already published by the Society are principally adapted to diligent readers,—to those who are anxiously desirous to obtain knowledge in a condensed, and, in most cases, systematic form. But there are a very great number of persons who can spare half an hour for the reading of a newspaper, who are sometimes disinclined to open a book. For these we shall endeavour to prepare a useful and entertaining Weekly Magazine, that may be taken up and laid down without requiring any considerable effort; and that may tend to fix the mind upon calmer, and, it may be, purer subjects of thought than the violence of party discussion, or the stimulating details of crime and suffering. We have, however, no expectation of superseding the newspaper, and no desire to supersede it. We hope only to share some portion of the attention which is now almost exclusively bestowed upon " the folio of four pages," by those who read little and seldom. We consider it the duty of every man to make himself acquainted with the events that are passing in the world,—with the progress oflegislation, and the administration of the laws; for every man is deeply interested in all the great questions of government. Every man, however, may not be qualified to understand them; but the more he knows, the less hasty and the less violent will be his opinions. The false judgments which are sometimes formed by the people upon public
events, can only be corrected by the diffusion of sound knowledge. Whatever tends to enlarge the range of observation, to add to the store of facts, to awaken the reason, and to lead the imagination into agreeable and innocent trains of thought, may assist in the establishment of a sincere and ardent desire for information; and in this point of view our little Miscellany may prepare the way for the reception of more elaborate and precise knowledge, and be as the small optic-glass called "the finder,"' which is placed by the side of a large telescope, to enable the observer to discover the star which is afterwards to be carefully examined by the more perfect instrument.
This place has been recently greatly improved by clearing away decaying houses, and enlarging the space for the public convenience, and for the display of newly-erected handsome buildings. It derives its name from having been anciently a village, detached from London, called Charing, and from a stately Cross erected there by order of Edward I., to commemorate his affection for Eleanor, his deceased queen. The cross occupied the last spot on which her body rested in its progress to sepulture in Westminster Abbey. The other resting-places of her sumptuous funeral were dignified by similar edifices.
Two centuries and a half ago, Charing Cross was within howshot of the open country, all the way to Hampstead and Highgate. North of the Cross there were only a few houses in front of the Mews, where the King's falcons were kept. The Hay-market was a country road, with hedges on each side, running between pastures. St. Martin's lane was bounded on the west side by the high walls of the Mews, and on the other side by a few houses and by old St. Martin's church, where the present church stands. From these buildings it was aquiet country lane, leading to St. Giles's, then a pleasant village, situated among fine trees. Molborn was a mere road between open meadow-land, with a green hedge on the north side. In the Strand, opposite to St. Martin's lane, stood the hospital and gardens of St. Mary Rouncival, a religious establishment founded and endowed by William, Earl of Pembroke, in the reign of Henry III. In the middle of the road leading to the Abbey, and opposite to Charing Cross, stood a hermitage and chapel dedicated to St. Catherine.
Charing Cross is represented in the above engraving. It was of an octagonal form and built of stone, and in an upper stage contained eight figures. In 1643 it was pulled down and destroyed by the populace, in their zeal against superstitious edifices. Upon the ground of similar zeal, Henry VIII. suppressed the religious houses of the kingdom, and seized their estates and revenues to his own use: the hospital of St. Mary Rouncival was included in this fate. On its ancient site stands tha palace of the Duke of Northumberland. It was built in the reign of