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Literary and Political Journal.
JANUARY TO JUNE,
JAMES MCGLASHAN, 50 UPPER SACKVILLE-STREET.
WM. S. ORR AND COMPANY, LONDON.
INTRODUCTORY TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF OUR TWENTY FIRST YEAR.
It happens to every man, we believe, some time or other in the progress of life, to pause, as it were, upon his journey-to take breath-to look around him—to survey the road whereon he has been travelling, as far back as its tortuosities or inequalities will permit him—to look forward with an anxious, curious speculation, as far as it may be given to his short, dim vision to do so. Time, that measures out bis periods by oft-recurring seasons, admonishes the wise and the self-communing spirit to this survey with each recurring year. But, at larger intervals, and upon some more eventful turning-point of human life, every one stands still, as though on an eminence, to gaze around him. Then, indeed, does the past spread out before him. He ponders with a pleasurable sadness over young days, young hopes, young friends; he a ks of his own soul to what profit they have been spent, to what extent they have been realised; how many of those friends have been ravished from him, or fallen away, in the weary, constant life-travel ; how many of them still are by his side, faithful and enduring to the end. And, then, gaining strength and knowledge from past trials and past experience, he will shape his course hopefully for the future, and press firmly forward, as one who has essayed bis own strength, and relies upon it.
One of those long-recurring intervals of time a cycle of no less than twenty years has now been accomplished in the existence of our periodical; and as we sit musingly in the decline of the old year, and reflect, that with the first morning of the new one we shall enter upon a new period, it occurred to us that it would not be unbecoming towards ourselves, or unacceptable to those for whom we havé thus lived and laboured, that we, too, should pause a few moments, and detain them with us, while we take a survey, from the eminence upon which we stand, of the past, the present, and the future.
And, first, of our Past.
Twenty years! What a vast portion of the life of man, and even no inconsiderable space in the existence of a nation. Now-a-days, time, whose true philosophic measure is what it can achieve, has enlarged the limits of human existence. A year is expanded into seven of those which our forefathers lived. The locomotion of body, the progress of knowledge, the advancement in civilisation, the intercommunion of thought take place with a ra
VOL. XLI.-NO. CCXLI.