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tively with the great number of details which this little work embraces.
Notwithstanding we have spoken of the early date of some of these details, it is hoped that the present will not be received as a volume of mere antiquarianism. It has certainly been our object to wrest a few of what may be termed Domestic Antiquities from the wreck of reforming time; but we have been as anxious to illustrate the progress of improvement to our own day, as to show the origins and inventions of past ages. It is surely a matter of some interest to every fireside circle to trace the rise of Domestic Architecture in England, from the canister houses of our earliest ancestors to the palacelike mansions of the present generation; from the hole in the roof to the scientific chimney; and from the rere-dosse to the handsome stove, with its revived classic ornaments, such as we now see in every English cottage. We select these illustrations with reference to two sections of the subsequent pages ; but a glance at each of these divisions may be more useful and profitable to the reader than any further observations
Domestic Architecture: tracing the principal improvements in building dwellinghouses, from the British and Anglo-Saxon huts.
Interior of an old English Mansion : including the internal arrangement of the Hall, its offices, materials, and the like.
Meals: with a glance at the luxury and hospitality of past ages, their festal customs and elaborate cookery.
Education : comprehending notices of the education of the English sovereigns, and eminent persons in each reign; not forgetting the progressive influence of education upon the habits of the people.
Almanacks and Newspapers : their origin and present economy.
The Post-office: its origin and present management.
Ancient Furniture: with examples of its rude construction and accommodations.
Tapestry: an outline of this very curious manufacture in Europe, with descriptive notices of celebrated specimens *.
* Since this portion was printed, and a few days before the publication of the present volume, it is much
The Curfew, a long-disputed custom of the Middle Ages, illustrated.
Chimneys and Fireplaces : their history and economy
Lamps and Lanterns : from the wax-taper clocks of Alfred to the gas-lighting of our own streets.
Candles, Candlesticks, and Snuffers: with appropriate antiquarian details.
Coals: an outline of the general and natural history of this main comfort of the English fireside.
Bread and Baking : with notices of the progressive use of corn in England.
Ale and Wine : their manufacture; with anecdotes of convivial customs.
Coaches: from their earliest construction and use to their present completeness in England.
Travelling, Inns, and Roads : their inconveniences and accommodations.
Dress : with an historical outline of British to be regretted one of the most celebrated tapestries in England, viz. that in the House of Lords, has been destroyed in the vast conflagration of both Parliament Houses, on Thursday night, October 16, 1834.—The tapestry is referred to at page 133.
costume, and portrait illustrations, anecdotes, and customs.
Domestic Superstitions : corrections of vulgar errors, and explanations of fallacies, once familiar to every English hearthside.
Domestic Servants: with anecdotes of splendid establishments and their hospitalities.
Faithful Servants : with anecdotes and epitaphs.
In the selection of these subjects we have been more guided by popular interest, or such as concern a very large proportion of readers, than by any choice of matters of laborious research, or antiquarian dispute. Nevertheless, our materials have been drawn from accredited sources, many of which are specially acknowledged: but the enumeration of every work referred to would unprofitably occupy a considerable space. One omission we are, however, anxious to explain. It is that of acknowledgment to “ Descriptive Sketches of Tunbridge Wells,” by John Britton, Esq. F. S. A. for the engraving of Tunbridge Castle, at page 5; and the substance of the accompanying details.
In most instances, the language of old writers has been modernized, so as to get rid of their quaintness, but preserve the matter of their illustrations. In every instance, we have attempted to draw an instructive yet amusing moral from our investigations; since the most hasty glance at the social condition of past ages must make us the more grateful to the Bestower of every perfect good, for the increased happiness of our own. Such a reflection will render us better men, better subjects, and more acceptable in our service to God.