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EVERY DAY BOOK;
Guide to the Year:
(To be published every Saturday, price Threepence,)
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS IN TOWY AND COUNTRY.
CHARLES LAMB, ESQ.
Your letter to me, within the first two months from the
commencement of the present work, approving my notice of St. Chad's Well, and your afterwards daring to publish me your “friend,” with your “proper name” annexed, I shall never forget. Nor can I forget your and Miss Lamb's sympathy and kindness, when glooms outmastered me; and that your pen spontaneously sparkled in the book, when my mind was in clouds and darkness. These “ trifles,” as each of you would call them, are benefits scored
May 5, 1826.
This volume is a specimen of a work undertaken for the purpose of forming a collection of the manners and customs of ancient and modern times, with descriptive accounts of the several seasons of popular pastime.
Each of the three hundred and sixty-five days in the year is distinguished by occurrences or other particulars relating to the day, and by the methods of celebrating every holiday; the work is therefore what its titlo purports, THE EVERY-Day Book.
It is an EVERLASTING CALENDAR—because its collection of facts concerning the origin and usages of every remarkable day, including movablo feasts and fasts, constitute
a calendar for every year. It is a HISTORY OF THE YEAR—because it traces the commencement and progress of the year from the first day to the last.
It is a HISTORY OF THE MONTHs—because it describes the appearances that distinguish each month from the other months.
It is a HISTORY OF THE SEASONS— because it describes the influences and character of the four quarters into which the year is divided, and the most remarkable objects in natural history peculiar to each season.
It is a PERPETUAL KEY TO THE ALMANACK—because it explains the signification of every name and term in the almanack.
Its antiquarian and historical notices are calculated to engage the attention of almost every class of readers, and to gratify several who would scarcely expect such particulars in such a miscellany. The perplexities attending the discovery of certain facts, and the labour of reducing all into order, will be appreciated by the few who have engaged in similar pursuits. Some curious matters are now, for the first time, submitted to the public; and others are so rare as to seem altogether new.
As regards the engravings, to such as are from old masters, notices of their prints are always annexed. The designs for the allegorical and other illustrations have originated with myself; and the drawings been accommodated, and the engravings executed, according to my own sense of subject and style. In numerous instances they have been as satisfactory to me as to my readers ; many of whom, however, are less difficult to please than I am, and have favourably received some things which I have been obliged to tolerate, because the exigency of publication left me no time to supply their place. I know what art can accomplish, and am therefore dissatisfied when artists fail to accomplish.