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THE few observations which are necessary be prefixed to this volume, will contain little more than acknowledgments to the distinguished literary characters, and eminent artists whose respective productions adorn its pages; as it is on those productions that the Publisher rests his hopes that it will be deemed entitled to an elevated station among the Annual publications, not of this country only, but of Europe. Far from wishing, however, to institute invidious comparisons, he only asserts for it an equal claim to the notice and patronage of the public; for whether with respect to its graphic illustrations, or its literary merits, he feels assured that it will not be found inferior to any, even if it does not excel most, of its contemporaries.
To describe the Editor's obligations to his various friends in adequate terms would require space infinitely beyond that to which a preface is necessarily limited; but in briefly expressing his gratitude to the celebrated characters who have cheerfully afforded him the assistance of their talents, he will not only perform a grateful duty, but at the same time tacitly urge the pretensions which he considers Bijou” to possess to public favour.
To Sir Walter Scott the proprietors and himself
are indebted for the interesting letter explanatory of the picture of his family, with an engraving of which, through the liberality of its possessor Sir Adam Ferguson, and the painter Mr. Wilkie, they have been enabled to enrich the Work. Nor is it too much to expect that if every other recommendation were wanting, that plate, and still more the description by which it is accompanied would prove irresistible attractions to the world; for who can be indifferent to so pleasing a memorial of a writer to whose merits England, Europe, nay, the whole civilized world, has offered its homage and its praise. Conspicuous as that letter is among the literary beauties of these sheets,—and to it may be attributed an interest as unfading as the reputation of its writer--almost all the popular authors of the day have contributed one or more scintillations of their genius; and it with feelings of pride, admiration, and gratitude, that the Editor and Proprietors offer their warmest acknowledgments to John Gibson Lockhart, Esq.*, Mrs. Hemans, Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart.; Sir Thomas Elmsley Croft, Bart.; Dr. Southey; the Rev. Blanco White; Barry Cornwall; L. E. L.; Miss Mitford; Mrs. Pickersgill;
* A few stanzas of the Ballad by Mr. Lockhart were printed in the “ Janus" for 1826. It is so considerably improved and enlarged, the translation being now complete, as to assume a new character.