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DESIGNED TO GIVE STABILITY TO THE INTERESTS OF THE
TO CERTAIN SUCCESS.
- - 43 DH
DURING the four years that I edited THE FAMILY FRIEND, I received an extraordinary number of communications from readers of that popular work, who seemed to have much confidence in the knowledge and discretion of its Editor.
Of this correspondence a very large proportion emanated from the following classes of persons :
1st.— Those who, already embarked in business, were involved in difficulties from which they sought to escape.
2nd.— Those who, having possession of a small capital, wished to turn it to profitable account in an industrial occupation.
3rd.— Those who, being reduced from affluence to poverty, were anxious to do something to obtain a livelihood, having scarcely any mealis to commence, and no practical knowledge to guide them in any experiment they might be advised to make.
The appeals made in many of these communications, especially of the latter class, were so earnest and touching, that I often felt extremely grieved at finding myself utterly unable to give beneficial advice. I did, however, in many instances, render friendly aid by private correspondence ; and I find pleasure in knowing that, in these instances, the practical adoption of my suggestions led to most satisfactory results.
Finding it impossible to answer all applications upon these matters, either by correspondence or in the pages of The Family Friend, and feeling the subject to be one of considerable importance, I resolved to publish a pamphlet which should, as far as possible, meet the wants of my numerous correspondents. I had searched everywhere for a work of this kind, but could find nothing answering the purpose.
I accordingly announced the publication of The Shopkeeper's Guide, which I then designed to form a shilling pamphlet, in which I hoped to supply much of the information so urgently desired. The announcement no sooner appeared than Messrs. Houlston and Stoneman were inundated with orders. This fact convinced me that the subject was one of greater importance than even I had contemplated ; and I therefore resolved to postpone the publication, to extend the plan of it, and to give very earnest attention to the subject.
The Shopkeeper's Guide, as now published, is the result. It was exceedingly difficult to build up a work upon so new a model, in an entirely satisfactory manner. No one writer could take the plan of the whole work, which consisted of so many diversified parts, and varied subjects, into his hands, with a conviction that he could treat it successfully. And I found it extremely difficult, in applying to various writers, to get them to understand the plain, practical, and comprehensive nature of the work I designed.
At length I met with a Gentleman who, having had considerable experience in both wholesale and retail trades, had relinquished them for literary pursuits. And availing myself of the co-operation of one who combined the rare capacity of a man of business and a man of letters, we have together produced The Shopkeeper's Guide.
It is not now so complete as I design the future editions to be.
I have omitted altogether, in the present edition, the consideration of the first class of querists-- “ Those who, already embarked in business, are involved in difficulties from which they desire to escape.”
The laws relating to Bankrupts and Insolvents are likely to undergo many modifications in the next session of Parliament. I shall then put the matter into the hands of an eminent legal gentleman, skilled in Bankruptcy practice; but I shall do so more with the view of instructing my readers how to avert the calamity of commercial dishonour, than to bring all the penalties of ruined credit upon themselves.
The Shopkeeper's Guide will be found to commend principles which, if properly appreciated and practised, cannot fail to place the interests of the large or small shopkeeper upon a sound foundation,
The second and third classes of my querists will be materially aided by the chapters which treat of the “Causes of Failures of Shopkeepers ;
Qualifications for a Shopkeeper ; Hints towards the choice of a Business ; Book-keeping ;” and especially by the “ Receipts of Articles,” which may be procured wholesale at low prices, compounded according to the directions given, and then sold retail at a very large profit.
The List of Agencies will also prove of material value to Shopkeepers of every class. It is my intention to enlarge both these latter departments in future editions ; and to keep up a constant and careful revision of the work.
In conclusion: I shall be happy to receive suggestions from those who may be able to improve any of the departments of the work, or to add new and useful features to it. I shall also be glad if Shopkeepers will communicate with me upon any deficiencies or omissions they may find : my determination being to make the work one of the highest value to the numerous classes to whose interests it is addressed.
THE EDITOR OF THE FAMILY TREASURY.
(Late Editor of the “ Family Friend.")
LONDON, 65, Paternoster-row, Oct. 5th, 1853.