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We have little to communicate to our readers in our present half-yearly address, but to ask a continuation of that confidence and assistance which is the best reward of our diligent and continued occupation. We cannot, however, pass over in silence the sudden and awful change that has taken place in almost every part of the civilized world. As great convulsions of nature extend their fatal influence even to the remotest shores, so the late political tempests that have swept away with terrific violence the “ thrones and dominations” of the earth, have not failed to reach every humbler place, and to affect every local and personal interest; to disturb the calm pursuits of philosophy, and even to invade and break up the accustomed channels of literature. The same causes which have diminished the desire to possess and the power to purchase old books, have also prevented or greatly diminished the publication of new ones. The great printing press of the world of letters is almost standing still, or is only engaged in the daily propagation of political news,-in stimulating the curiosity of those who hope to profit by disturbances, or in tranquillizing the fears of others who tremble for the possessions they have already acquired.
Occupied, therefore, as the general mind is at this awful moment with anxieties both of the present and the future, it is in vain to hope that literature in any of its varied branches will re-assume its wonted activity till these commotions and changes have subsided, and the disturbed waters of strife have returned into their proper channel; till those who write can expect a just reward for their labour, and those who read can bring to their studies minds freed from the personal anxieties and dangers that surround them; for, in the language of the poet,—Res est imperiosa timor. It is therefore very possible that as less knowledge reaches us, we may have less also to communicate to our readers; but we will do what we are able, and our readers may rely on our continued exertions to supply them with notices of those publications which mark the progress of literature, and of the proceedings of those societies which are periodically diffusing fresh information on science and on art. We wish our materials to be useful, we hope that our criticisms are just, and we shall continue to adhere to that maxim which has always been our guide, “ That it is better to know something thoroughly, than every thing superficially.”
Embellished with Exterior and Interior Views of WAKEFIELD Bridge Chapel, and
with a Representation of an ANCIENT FIRE-PLACE at the DEANERY, LINCOLN.