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I BEG to announce to the readers of this Journal, that on the completion of the
present Twentieth Volume, on the Twenty Eighth of November, in the present year,
I shall commence an entirely NEW SERIES of ALL THE YEAR ROUND. The change is
not only due to the convenience of the public (with which a set of such books, extending
beyond twenty large volumes, would be quite incompatible), but is also resolved upon
for the purpose of effecting some desirable improvements in respect of type, paper, and
size of page, which could not otherwise be made. To the Literature of the New
Series it would not become me to refer, beyond glancing at the pages of this Journal,
and of its predecessor, through a score of years; inasmuch as my regular fellow-
labourers and I will be at our old posts, in company with those younger comrades
whom I have had the pleasure of enrolling from time to time, and whose number it is
always one of my pleasantest editorial duties to enlarge.

As it is better that every kind of work, honestly undertaken and discharged, should
speak for itself than be spoken for, I will only remark further on one intended omission
in the New Series. The Extra Christmas Number has now been so extensively, and
regularly, and often imitated, that it is in very great danger of becoming tiresome. I
have therefore resolved (though I cannot add, willingly) to abolish it, at the highest
tide of its success.
                                                                                                      CHARLES DICKENS.



NOTHING outside the covers of a fairy-tale
book, can be half so bewitching as the scene on
which this company entered. No stage could
present one with so gorgeous and vast a piece
of grouping. No dream of expectation could
foreshadow its shifting brilliancy, its dazzling
variety. Mr. Campion the knave of diamonds,
conducted Red Ridinghood to an excellent
post of observation, where troops of dream
people passed by them in the flesh:
Cinderella and her godmother, Lady Macbeth
and Robin Hood, popes and their cardinals,
kings and their jesters. There were summer
and winter, the devil and an angel, sylphs and
mermaids, a savage and St. Agnes; the three
weird sisters (three maidens in their bloom), the
graces (three withered old spinsters in their
paint). Some with masks and some without:
glowing and glittering, laughing and jesting,
sneering and ogling, coquetting and love-
making; pointing witty speeches and ridiculing
dull ones; dragging out bashfulness and tripping
up blunders; fanning, blushing, sighing,
whisperingso the motly crowd went by. Love
jostled hate, and misery joy.  Beauty rubbed
skirts with ugliness, and security with danger.
Youth aped age, and age aped youth. Virtue
mimicked wickedness, and wickedness virtue.
It was all very fine, yet the queen of spades
thought but little of the pageant.  Hester might
have leisure to note the oddities and contrasts,
but Lady Humphrey had only eyes for one
sober-looking figure.

"Sir Archie Munro here!" said Pierce to
his mother. " Surely that is he over yonder.
What can bring him to London at such a

And Pierce involuntarily doubled up his fist
under his ruffles. It was an insult to his faithless