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THE first Volume of the Kilmarnock Mirror is offered to the Public, not from any wish to add unnecessarily to the existing pumber of Periodical Publications; but from a hope that a provincial arena, on which youthful genius may have an opportunity of displaying itself, may prove serviceable to the literary interests of Scotland. There can be nothing more fallacious than the generally received opinion that talent has particular localities, or that the intellectual powers are more speedily developed in one district than another. We believe that ambition and necessity are the grand incentives to mental exertion, and conceive that to the influence which these exert over the mind, we are indebted for those splended literary atchievements which grace the modern annals of our country. Mere local situation has no effect in fostering the buds of infant genius, or maturing the fruit which succeeds to the blossoms. Political circumstances, and perhaps the advantages which they derive from being metropolitan cities, have rendered London and Edinburgh famous for men of eminence in every science ; and though no such changes can occur as to excite the fear of rivalry in other quarters, it is
to be hoped that habits of literary industry may be cultivated through the medium of a provincial periodical work, and a taste for literary indulgence generated by the exertions of townsmen and companions.
The present publication is humble in its pretensions, yet the Editors hope that it has merit enough to shield it from contempt. The papers are principaily original,—a few are bora rowed from the works of eminent aüthors. The en
encouragement with which it has been favoured is a flattering testimony of the public sentiment; and if the morose are induced to smile, or the gay to think seriously; if the bigot is taught liberality, or the thoughtless reflection ;if vice is chastised, and virtue encouraged, the Kilmarnock Mirror has not been useless, but true to its of fice will reflect honour on the contributor, and convey instruetion to the reader.
The Editors beg to acknowledge with gratitude, the favours of their mimerous Correspondents, and request a continuance of their exertions. They have studied uniform and honest innpartiality in the admission of pieces, and in not one instance have they been led to reject without careful examination.
Kilmarnock, 6th May, 1819.
MIRROR OFFICE, 1st October, 1818. The Propriсtors and Editors of the Kilmarnock Mirror present to the public the specimen of an attempt to accomplish the objects pointed out in their Prospectus. Though sensible of imperfections accompanying this their first production, they do not yield to timid apprehension, but appear before their readers with confidence, that approbation will not be withheld where they have succeeded, and generous allowance made where they have failed in their good intentions.
They acknowledge with gratitude the various communications received from correspondents, and the liberal support of a numerous list of subscribers. Stimulated by such flattering encouragement, they will proceed in their undertaking with cheerfulness and assiduity, adopting such improvements in their progress as may excite interest, produce beneficial effects, and afford satisfaction.
As variety is the life of a work of this kind, the ample fund of matter already in possession of the Editors, besides what they are promised to expect from their literary friends, will enable them to fulfil their plan in this respect : and while it will be their care to
The Advantages of Reading Periodical Publications.
insert no article which has not merit to justify admission, it shall be their principal aim to select only such pieces as may tend to inform the mind, and point the rising generation to the path of wisdom. In short, they intend the MIRROR to be an instructive, pleasant, and szfe companion, and trust amid a numerous reading population, it will lc a welcome monthly visitor in many a family " through all the gradations of rank, from the inmates of the lowly cottage, to the genteel circle in the stately mansion."
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF
Frae beuks, the wale o' beuks, I gat some skill,
When Periodical Works are well conducted, they have considerable advantages over more elaborate systems. In a country where books, and a competent education are easily obtained, a considerable number of people of every description are found who devote a certain portion of their unemployed time to some kind of reading. But the time for this exercise is often short; and short as it is, they are often interrupted in the course of it; perhaps by domestic affairs, by the agreeable visit of a friend, or the necessary avocations of business. What publication could they read with any advantage in this irregular manner? Not a long and elaborate treatise, consisting of a number of parts, all of them intimately connected, none of which could be read with advantage without the other, and the whole requiring the uninterrupted attention of days instead of hours. Besides, those who are engaged in
any active employment, often have recourse to reading for relaxation and amusement; this is not to be found in ponderous and intricate systems. The close application they require is rather fatiguing than otherwise. But that man must be in a very uncomfortable situation indeed, or of a very depraved tiste, who cannot dovute the small portion of time required for