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TIME and the tide of public favour having brought to a close another Volume of THE FAMILY FRIEND, we are anxious to place upon record our gratitude to the Patrons of the Past; and, in a few words, to bespeak their interest for the Future.
At the outset of the year, we promised much for the gratification of our readers, whose great numerical increase is a healthy indication that we have not been unmindful of our promise, and the best means to insure its realisation.
The great aim of THE FAMILY FRIEND has been to "raise the standard of comfort," to inculcate a knowledge of useful things; and to combine with truthful facts those lighter features which recreate the mind and encourage home amusements, as well as occupations.
The Art of Needlework, which is constantly receiving tasteful accessions, has been illustrated; and its new varieties have been diligently represented, with due regard to beauty of design and material.
Fiction has been enlisted in order to portray shades of character and scenes of domestic life, with such attractiveness as to "point the moral," at the same time that we have sought to "adorn the tale," in nouvellettes and sketches,-in the playful anecdote, and gossiping trait.
In the Pictures of Olden Manners we have described many interesting events of the past, and of times more picturesque than our own.
Poetry has lent its charm to relieve the matter-of-fact departments of THE FAMILY FRIEND, in several pieces of original and striking merit.
To the stores for Household Management many novel côntributions have been made; keeping in view the elegance and economy of the table, and the readiest means of multiplying the comforts of house and home. Cookery, in its endless varieties, has received constant attention: the fallacies and mistakes of old modes have been exposed, whilst new methods have been adopted with a better object than merely the sake of change. In the minor branches of Domestic Economy, as house-cleaning and the general order of a well-regulated dwelling, advantage has been taken of the progressive character of the age, in the application of the great truths of science to the purposes of every-day life.
With regard to the future, the Editor assures Subscribers that the success which has crowned his exertions during the past year will stimulate him to renewed exertion. Among the novelties will be a searching exposure of the most notorious Quack Medicines of the day by which the public health and pocket are alike victimised, and the enjoyment of many a home sacrificed to impositions upon popular credulity. For this purpose an arrangement has been made with Dr. Letheby (Chief Officer of Health to the City of London, Chemist to the Corporation, and Professor of Toxicology and Chemistry to the London Hospital), who has so usefully distinguished himself in the good cause of exposing Adulterations of Food-a subject to which much space has been devoted in this work, and which will be resumed, with the determination not only to expose the evil, but to enforce the remedy; or what is better, to ensure prevention.
Meanwhile, the attraction of established heads of the work will be fully maintained; and some of them, especially the Family Pastime and recreative portions, enlarged in several important respects.
It only remains to utter a fervent prayer that our next Volume will be closed in more peaceful times; that the horrid conflict of human strife, with its manifold
sacrifices and desolation, shall have ceased to afflict the family circle; that our friends may enjoy a "merrie Christmas," and unite with us in hope for a happy ew Year.
"If solid happiness we prize,
And they are fools who roam :
The world has nothing to bestow;
London, December 1855.