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HE good old ship answers to the helm. The reader of
to-day is as willing as was the reader of a hundred years
ago to put faith in Sylvanus Urban. There is some magic left in the old name, and writers and readers gather round it upon any fair sign of encouragement. Much more than I dared hope for of success in so short a time has attended my first six months of pleasant labour in this ancient editorial chair. It has
been a half-year of hopeful progress.
Around this chair I seem to feel the presence of a great circle of
friends, all of whom are touched with a something of zest and enthusiasm for the good name and continued career of honour of the Gentleman's Magazine. Readers and writers have been inspired with the same feeling, and the sentiment has lent a grateful tone to offers of good service on the one hand and congratulations
on the other.
So I am led, after the old fashion of Sylvanus Urban, to avail myself of the opportunities offered by these short half-yearly prefaces, and more frequently by the pages of Table Talk in each monthly number, to assume a certain editorial frankness, and to bring author and reader into close and friendly relationship.
The merchant whose fortune is on the seas does not watch with