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“No manner of demonstration, or form of interpreting nature, howover excellent for defending and sustaining the mind from error and failure,
can also provide and supply it with the material of knowledge. But by all who would not guess and divine, but would discover and know, and who desiro
not to invent buffooneries and fables about worlds, but to inspect, and as it were dissect, the nature of this real world, all knowledge must be sought
from things themselves. Nor can any substitution or compensation of wit, or meditation, or augmentation, suffice in the stead of this labour, and
inquisition, and perambulation of the world; not if all the wit of all men were to combine for the purpose. The labour, therefore, must be undergone,
or the undertaking for ever abandoned.”-Bacon.

"Nearly all the inventions which we now hear of no more were monstrously ingenious, whilst the inventions which are actually in use are those
which appear to have got rid of all the ingenuity, and to have retained one or two plain, simple, common-sense elements." -J. Scott RUSSELL.



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In sending forth the First Volume of our New Series we are disposed to address to our readers a few familiar words, which we trust will be received by them with favour.


In the first place, we have to acknowledge the support which many New Subscribers have accorded to us since January last; and this we do with the more satisfaction because it has been rendered without solicitation on our part. We have not, we confess, either the time or the disposition to make those appeals to the public-by way of ingenious advertisements and otherwise—which contribute so greatly to the success of many publications ; and, we doubt not, we suffer, to a certain extent, for our inactivity in this respect. But we are happy to say that, notwithstanding this drawback, the number of our subscribers and friends has steadily and largely increased. Nor is our constituency (if we may so speak) extending itself among mechanical men only: we find that the officers of Her Majesty's Navy and Army are continually swelling the list of our supporters. This fact affords us much pleasure, both on account of the natural regard which we all feel for the classes to whose skill and gallantry our national honour is committed, and on account of the importance which must of necessity be attached to the acquisition of scientific knowledge by our naval and military men. We earnestly hope to find our acquaintance with them still increasing; and to this end we make bold to request our present naval and military subscribers and readers to aid in extending our circulation among their professional brethren.

If we had any desire whatever to mention with complacency our own labours during the last six months, we might refer to our efforts in connection with the Armstrong Gun, the ships of the Navy, the Coinage, the Mediterranean Telegraph, the Patent Laws, and several other topics which we have discussed elaborately, and with some visible, and more invisible, results. But this subject we leave to others. We could wish, however, that our readers should discriminate between the management of this Magazine and that of some other journals which have lately started into existence, ostensibly in the interests of popular science, and which are maintained (where they have not already ceased to appear) by a system of piracy that is most disgraceful. The staple literary material of such publications as those to which we here refer is obtained by sheer plunder, and by that alone. Articles from our own Magazine, and even the contents of expensive volumes, are reproduced in them without the least acknowledgment of the sources whence they are derived. It is in this way that such periodicals are, in some instances, forced into a tolerably wide circulation-only, of course, to disappear when their character becomes understood. Now, we may fairly and confidently say that our columns afford no example of this kind of deception or fraud. All that we publish either proceeds directly from the pens of ourselves and our colleagues, or else has its origin plainly authenticated. Nor do we, as Editors, aim at anything like mere literary display. What we value, and what we believe others value, are facts, and these it is our constant endeavour to provide. The extent to which many of our articles are reprinted in the leading journals of this and other countries, and the influence which those articles are openly admitted to exert, assure us that we are far from unsuccessful in our efforts.

In conclusion we will only say that, while conscious of many defects which have marked our course during the issue of the present volume, we nevertheless hope we have done enough to ensure the permanent support of that large and cultivated body whom it is our privilege to address from week to week.


June, 1859.

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