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EVERY THING human must have an end ;-and if in this, the UNIVERSUM or Pictorial World, shares the destiny of its compeers, the Proprietors can only say, that on a review of their past labours they have nothing to regret ;—the work having, throughout, been conducted in the same spirit of liberality with which it was begun.
They confidently appeal to the decision of those who are competent judges in such matters, and they do so, they trust, without vanity, whether the PICTORIAL World has not fully sustained the same character, which in the earlier parts of the work, received such unqualified commendation. Without exposing themselves to the charge of boasting, the Publishers can aver that, to the close of their undertaking, the same anxiety has been employed in the selection of interesting, appropriate, and diversified specimens, from known and approved masters; and which the artists employed in engraving them have invariably executed in the best style of the arts. It is further satisfactory to find that the work now completed, though published at a very moderate price, may, from its intrinsic worth, confidently be put into the hands of every amateur of the arts, whether amongst those of superior rank, or those moving, comparatively, in a more humble circle.
Should it be asked why a work thus propitiously began, and successfully carried on, should now be discontinued ?-The Proprietors answer that this does not arise from any failure of materials, because it must be evident, on a moment's reflection, that a work comprising every branch of the arts, portraiture, landscapes and views both domestic and foreign, historical records of past events, dramatic and fictitious scenes, and fanciful and imaginary representations, must, from their own nature, be inexhaustible. The simple cause of bringing the work to a close is, that after the kind support of their friends for three successive years, they thought it much better to loose their subscribers from any farther liability while the work was yet in a vigorous state of health, rather than incur the possibility, even by a protracted continuity, of producing satiety at last.
To those noblemen and gentlemen, the owners of private galleries, who have most kindly assisted the work by the loan of pictures, the Publishers desire to return their most grateful thanks. Neither would they forget the courtesy shown, and the assistance afforded by public bodies, through the medium of those gentlemen who are the respective conservators of such works of art. The Publishers also feel that to their numerous subscribers a large amount of gratitude is due.
And if the Editor in conclusion may be forgiven for speaking in propria personâ, he must say that he parts with his readers and his work with infinite regret. Many hours of toilsome pleasure, if such an expression be not a paradox, have glided away since the beginning of his editorial labours. Often, aye ! very often, while he has been endeavouring to furnish materials illustrative of the Universum, which might amuse or instruct, he has himself derived no small portion of pleasure and profit in revising the studies of bye-gone times, and acquiring fresh information on subjects of a more modern date. For this, as well as on other accounts, in taking leave of his readers, he can but express his most sincere acknowledgments.
London, October 1st, 1847.