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We look with some degree of surprise at the five volumes of the Annals of Education, which lie before us, and the opening of the sixth. We wonder that it has not passed into the grave, which has swallowed up, we believe, every other journal of this character, established in our country. We think with gratitude of that kind providence which has enabled us to persevere so long, and to collect so much on the great subject of our work, even in so imperfect a manner, amidst ill health and discouragement, and in spite of losses, and which has raised up those friends of the cause, who have so generously joined us in sustaining the work, when it was in danger of extinction. We are happy in being able to inform those who are interested in its success, that with the exception of a few sets recently destroyed by fire, the whole number in the hands of the Editor, have been disposed of; and that by giving up the only remaining fruit of the Editor's labors — the greater part of the property of the work — it is entirely freed from embarrassment, and that the efforts of its advocates have secured an increase of the subscription list which will furnish a partial compensation to its editor and contributors.
But we look with deeper interest, and more fervent gratitude, at the evidences that the efforts and sacrifices in which we have had many coadjutors, have not been in vain. We have received from individuals of every class, not merely expressions of deep interest in the collection of those facts and principles which we have been enabled to present, but assurances of the value they attached to the work, and of the benefit which they have derived from it, which surprised as well as encouraged us. The sets, which those whom Providence bas blessed with wealth have been kind enough to present to public institutions, have been received in many cases, we know, with great interest, especially among those who are engaged in mission schools in foreign countries, and in the institutions where teachers are preparing themselves for their high duties. The work has thus been scattered, and a knowledge of its character extended to every quarter of our country, and, we may add, to every portion of the world ; and to numbers of persons who were
not even aware of the existence of such a publication, and to some who imagined, with a very able man who was consulted at its commencement, that "nothing more than a pamphlet or two could be written about education !"
Among so many coadjutors, some of whom we only know through the results of their kindness, and all of whom, we are persuaded have done everything which their circumstances allowed, it would be indelicate to specify individuals. We cannot, however, refrain from stating, that while the first contribution to the Annals was received from a gentleman in a neighboring State, whose influence and wealth are a tower of strength to the benevolent enterprises of our country, the second was an order for ten sets, from the lamented Grimke ; an early one for that number, came from an eminent gentleman of New Orleans, and another, for several copies, from North Carolina, for which we were indebted to the personal exertions of the late excellent Dr Caldwell, of the University of that State ; and others still, from the presidents of our Western Colleges ; thus showing, that the interest in the work was by no means local in its character.
But we are also deeply indebted to those who could only assist us by their efforts with others. To one devoted teacher, we are indebted for a contribution furnished in this mode, and secured by his own pledge, equal in amount to any which was supplied by individual wealth ; and to others still, as much as any individual contribut withi a few exceptions. We have to acknowledge, with peculiar emotions, the aid of some, who have, literally, given from their poverty ; and of one, who, as we have since learned lived upon bread and water only, and yet paid cheerfully for the work, as one which he not only valued, himself, but which he felt it a duty to sustain.
We are dwelling perhaps too long for policy, or for the patience of our readers, upon the tale of difficulties; but if it be tedious, our preface will submit patiently to neglect, and an editor may be allowed once at least in a year, to lay aside his official forms, and employ a few unpaid pages in addressing his readers as his own feelings dictate. But we are also desirous of showing the connection of our work with its adopted parents ; a connection which elevates it above the obscurity and misfortunes, and we hope, above the dangers which attended its birth. To them we commend it, and entreat that they will foster that which they have preserved — that they will still allow it a place in their houses, and an introduction to their friends, and include it among those objects which have a claim to a part of their efforts for the good of the rising generation ; and that they will seek for it a guardian who may conduct it more efficiently, and release us from a burden, not of labor but of responsibility, which we often fear, and which our friends often predict we cannot sustain.
In reviewing the volumes published, we find a variety of matter from sources of the highest authority in our own country and in Europe. We have ainsed, especially in our early volumes, to assume the office of a painter; and endeavor to present the opinions of others, because we helieved they would be more correct, and possess far more authority than our own.
We have been repeatedly asked for our own opinions, and as we have been suspected of reserving them either from negligence, or from the fear of offending, we are bound to say frankly, that we saw so much the extent and difficulties of our subject, that we felt little confidence in ourselves; and while these demands have led us to express our own opinions more freely, we confess that long examination only leads us to discover thre extent of that freld, in which we have gathered only here and there a flower.
We had 'but just finished our remarks on our own work, when we found with regret in the 20th No. of the London Quarterly Journal of Education, that this will be the last of that valuable series. It is relinquished because the sales are not sufficient to defray its expenses, in consequence of the same indifference or prejudice on the subject which has destroyed so many works of the 'kind. The views of the Editor are so coincident with our own, and present so strongly the necessity of sacri fice, as well as effort on the part of some to sustain a beacon light on this subject in our own country — a centre for reference - a medium of communication, on a topic in which we have a peculiar national interest so long as we retain those free institutions, which rest on the intelligence and morals of the people, - that we shall present them to our readers.
There is one general reason assigned, which is applicable to all works of a similar character,
“ Periodical publications which are addressed solely to the understanding, the object of which is to communicate the results of laborious Yesearch, to deduce general principles in physical, political, or any other branch of science, do not in this country, and hardly perhaps in any country, command an extensive sale. The number who can understand them, or whose education has given them a taste for such reading, is comparatively small. A Journal of Education is a publication of this class, its object being to collect such facts as compose the annals or the history of education, to ascertain those general principles which should direct the education of all classes, and to point out the means of reducing them to practice. Some years ago, but hardly within the last twenty years, it någht have been disputed in thris country whether pational education was a matter of such concern as to be worth any serious discussion ; and in such a state of opinion, a Journal of Educa