« PreviousContinue »
The sale of six thousand copies of the Literary Souvenir for 1825, under disadvantages of no ordinary nature, and the flattering testimony borne to its merits by nearly the whole of the periodical press, whilst they have afforded gratifying proofs of the correctness of my anticipations as to the probable success of such a publication, have also had the effect of stimulating my publishers and myself to produce, in the present volume, a work calculated to deserve, if not to secure, a still more extended degree of patronage; and to satisfy any reasonable expectations to which the preceding number may have given rise. It would, however, be disingenuous in me to lead my readers to expect any very material improvement hereafter. The literary contents of the following pages, both prose and verse, whether anonymous or avowed, have (if my own trivial contributions, and some two or three articles from able, but unknown pens, be excepted), been supplied, at my instigation, by a host of the most distinguished writers of the age. The embellishments, too, have been executed, as will be seen, by the most eminent engravers, from ORIGINAL paintings and drawings by the first artists of the day, in a style which, as it regards several of them, has certainly never been surpassed, if equalled, on the small scale to which they are necessarily restricted. The poet, the novelist, the painter, or engraver, may, undoubtedly, be more or less successful on one occasion than on another ; but, on the whole, I can scarcely hope to pre
sent my readers with a more favourable specimen of the Literary Souvenir than that which I have now the pleasure to lay before them.
Among the illustrations will be found subjects, which, upon a minute inspection, will fully bear me out in the opinion I have ventured to express, namely: the celebrated pictures by Leslie and Newton, entitled, “ The Rivals,” and “ The Lovers' Quarrel,” now engraved, for the first time, by W. Finden and Rolls; “ Bolton Abbey,' by E. Finden, after a splendid drawing, by Turner ;* “ Richmond Hill,” by Goodall, after a drawing made by Turner expressly for this work; “The Forsaken,” by Heath, after a picture by Newton, painted also expressly for this work ; Lady Louisa Russell, by Thomson, after the well known statue by Chantrey, in the Gallery at Woburn Abbey, &c. &c. &c.
* For the loan of this beautiful drawing I am indebted to the kindness of Thomas Lister Parker, Esq. to whom I gladly avail myself of this opportunity of returning my acknowledgments for his politeness.
I need scarcely remind my readers that if, instead of such illustrations as these, from original paintings and drawings, most of which have been procured with very great expense, I had chosen to introduce inferior plates, perhaps pleasing enough to persons possessing no great refinement of taste, taken from published prints, or obtained from cheap sources, more than double the number might have been given, at precisely the same cost. And when it is remembered that ten engravings, executed in the most finished style of the art, and upwards of four hundred pages of closely printed* ori
* I would not have the beautiful typography of the present volume escape notice altogether. In order that the mechanical part of the work should not be unworthy of the matter and illustrations, it has been printed from an entirely new font of type.
ginal Tales, Sketches, and Poems, by about forty of the most popular writers of the day, are supplied to the public at the cost of twelve shillings, I shall readily be believed when I affirm that many thousand copies must be sold before the proprietors can be even reimbursed for the expenses of the work.
With regard to the literary portion of this volume, I would wish it to be clearly understood that it is what it professes to be, ORIGINAL. I am led to dwell upon this feature. of my plan thus particularly, in consequence of having observed that more than one of the literary friends who have contributed anonymously to my pages, and of whose names I should have been extremely happy to have availed myself, had they permitted me so to do, have been publicly announced as the “ contributors” to a work professing similar