OF THE NEWPORT ATHEMJ1 & MECHANICS' INSTITUTE. The Institute was Established in 1841, for the diffusion of Useful Knowledge amongst its Members ; and was admitted into union with the Society of Arts, ISth of August, 1852. Vol. 1—No. 12. DECEMBEE, 1864. Gratis to Members. NEWPOBT, DECEMBER 1, 1864. The noiseless but ever-gliding stream of Time has borne us to the last month of the year 1864—a year memorable m many respects, religious, political, and social; and to the mem¬ bers of the Newport Athengeum, memorable as the year on whose first day, the first number of the Monthly Journal saw the light. At certain periods, the merchant takes stock and balances his books, with a view to obtain a cor¬ rect notion of his standing in the world of wealth and commerce; and, in this our last number for the year, we think it not out of place to give ex¬ pression to a few reflections that arise in glan¬ cing back at the past career of our Journal. Probably, when our infantile sheet first intruded itself upon the local world of letters, some per¬ sons may have smiled at the diminutive appear¬ ance of the little btranger, and prognosticated its speedy death. Such cynics, however, must have been unmindful of that high behest" Des¬ pise not the day of small and feeble things"; and must have been equally forgetful of the truth that the stateliest oak of the forest is the product of an insignificant acorn, and that the mightiest giant who ever trod this earth was once a helpless babe, " muling and puking in his nurse's arms." Though we cannot claim for our protege the same relative growth, it has certainly made some progress since its birth. Our Jomnal has existed long enough to present the public with its twelfth number; thus, completing the initial volume; and we think we may venture #0 use a poet's words, and say " Thus far our fortune keeps an onward course." This Journal being established more especial¬ ly as the organ of the Athenoeum; the limits of topics which its pages can embrace are to some extent circumscribed. We have frequently laid before our readers observations and comments upon the position, needs, and prospects of the Institution, and the various projects and oper¬ ations immediately connected with it; and, occasionally we have published articles on other interesting subjects of a cognate character. In the " Gossip on current Literature," which has regularly occupied our pages, the attention of our readers has been called to the more note¬ worthy works from time to time issuing from the prolific press of the present day, and some correct idea of their contents has been in this way imparted. In our earlier numbers we placed before the public a Prize Essay of con¬ siderable merit, and latterly we have been en¬ abled, in the "Chapters on Logic," to furnish some helps to those who, though desirous of ob¬ taining an insight into the reasoning art, and of acquiring exactitude of thought and argument, are for lack of opportunity precluded from studying large and expensive treatises. In ad¬ dition to the foregoing, our Journal has every month contained a number of Questions in Arithmetic, Geography, History, and other use¬ ful departments of study. We have reason to believe that these have profitably exercised the ingenuity, and tended to sharpen the faculties of many a self-improver ; and, while preventing bis previous stock of knowledge from growing rusty, have at the same time formed additions to his acquirements. The various Lectures, En¬ tertainments, and Excursions which have taken place under the auspices of our Institution, have been chronicled from month to month; and, with all their " pleasant memories," have thus been put on record, and, as we hope, preserved from passing into oblivion. Moreover, the matters just adverted to have not been mere hashes of extracts or newspaper cuttings ; but have been supplied from original sources. _ Few, except those professionally connected with the press, have an adequate notion of the work necessary for the regular production of a serial even of