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N concluding the First Volume of a Work which, in an unprecedently short space of time, has advanced both in circulation and popularity among the Working Classes of this
country, its Conductors cannot do less than return their heartfelt and sincere thanks to its Patrons and Supporters; while at the same time, conscious of having done their duty, they can point with pride and gratification to that which, without a predecessor, has found its way into public approval, having nothing but its own intrinsic merits for an introduction.
Experience has long since taught us the fact that, while Ignorance exists, national progress either in Arts or Manufactures is impossible. Education acting as a tie upon society, binding each man still closer in the bonds of Amity and Peace, is, in reality, the good genius of the world, since it is only by her presence that mankind can possibly learn the use of the materials which Nature has so bounteously provided to our hands. To her, therefore, our greatest attention should be paid-reverently receiving her gifts as inestimable treasures, the value of which can only be discovered by their absence.
Within the present century the progress of cheap literature has surpassed the point of wonder to gain that of admiration. Casting off the trammels of a system which gave
knowledge to the rich and deprived it of the poor, publishers have adopted a less mcrcenary, though it has proved itself a more profitable system, and the tome for which our forefathers paid pounds can now be obtained by their children for pence. The door of the storehouse of Literature having thus been opened has not been wanting in its good effects—the Working Man can refresh his mind at the fount of Wisdom, and learn to revere and profit by that which he before despised, because he neither knew nor cared what it was, or—as was really the case because a pecuniary barrier, which it was impossible for him to surmount, withheld him from it.
Following an example which fortunately is the order of the day, the Decorator's Assistant was projected and started in order to supply a want long experienced but hitherto inadequately supplied, and, in the words of its Prospectus, “to present to the Working Man a valuable book at a sinall cost-a book that may be read without any of the irksomeness of technicalities, while at the same time completeness is not lost sight of in the endeavour to popularise. Its principal feature is essentially Design as applied to the Useful and Ornamental Arts; and alone secondary to that must be ranked a Record of Popular Science, rendered as practical as possible, and selected with a view both to interest and instruct."
We have endeavoured to keep our promise, and now flatter ourselves that we have done so. Encouraged by our Readers and the Public Press, we have striven to be still more deserving of their commendations; and, while we have endeavoured to advance the knowledge of the Decorator, we have not forgotten the Man of Science; nor have we been parsimonious with intellectual food sui-ed to the neutral taste of the General Reader.
Several of the following refer to the Answers to Correspondents and Answers to Queries.
| Acanthus Leaf of the Corinthian Column, page 1. Buckingham-Palace, 142.
Buildings, Echoes in, 58.
Building, Moorish, 45.
Burned Clay, 184.
Cannon, a Curious, 3.
Carpenters' Tribute, 80.
Casting Figures, &c., 192.
Castings in Iron, 61.
Caxton, Monument to, 12.
Celebrated Men, 72.
Chloride of Silver, Decomposition of, 96.
Coat, Life-Preserving, 16.
Colours for Graining, 112.
to imitate Woods, &c., 48, 56.
Commercial Value of the Art of Design, 110.
Compo Ornaments, 122.
Copperplate Ink, 136.
Copper, Tin, &c., 71.
to Silver, 187.
Copying Machine, 80.
Copyright of Designs, 62.
Corner and Centre-piece, Design for, 116.
Curtain-Arm, Design for a, 140.
Damp, Prevention of, in Buildings, 103.