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Synopsis

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge had been founded in the autumn of 1826, and Charles Knight, who had then conceived a plan of a National Library, was entrusted, in July, 1827, with the superintendence of its publications. Its first treatises appeared in sixpenny numbers, once a fortnight. Its "British Almanac" and "Companion to the Almanac" first appeared at the beginning of 1829. Charles Knight started also in that year his own "Library of Entertaining Knowledge." John Murray's "Family Library" was then begun, and in the spring of 1832--the year of the Reform Bill--the advance of civilization by the diffusion of good literature, through cheap journals as well as cheap books, was sought by the establishment of "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal" n the North, and in London of "The Penny Magazine." He shall no longer have the delight of waking in the morning with bright ideas in his mind, hasten to commit them to paper, and count them monthly, as the means of planting such scaurs and purchasing such wastes; replacing dreams of fiction by Other prospective visions of walks by 'Fountain-heads, and pathless groves; Places which pale passion loves.' They are treading fast and thick. For weeks you could have heard a footfall

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