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" The reading of books, and the daily occurrences of life, are continually farnisbing us with
SPECTATOR, No. 379.
Printer in Ordinary to His Majesty;
* It is not easy to write a Preface to each volume, in a series that may be
carried to an indefinite length. The first presents a fruitful harvest of materials, the second requires but little gleaning, but those which follow expose the writer to the danger of incorporating ideas that have already been anticipated, and the difficulty increases as their number augments. Happily, however, with respect to this work, the necessity of a Preface becomes less urgent than formerly, so that the occasion ceases to be imperative, as the means of meeting it are exhausted. . The character of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE is already established upon permanent principles, which may easily be gathered from a perusal of its columns. They have been defined in the prefaces to preceding volumes, accompanied with assurances that no degeneracy shall take place; and as our promise has thus far been preserved inviolate, it will only be necessary for us to repeat our former declarations.
The productions of many able writers have given originality, dignity, and embellishment to our pages. To these we gratefully acknowledge our obligations, and present our solicitation for future favours. There are, however, many to whom the Editor finds himself bound to make some kind of an apology, and he begs to communicate to them his thoughts in the language of Dr. Johnson :
“I am afraid that I may be taxed with insensibility by many of my correspondents, who believe their contributions unjustly neglected. And, indeed, when I sit before a pile of papers, of which each is the production of laborious study, and the offspring of a fond parent, I, who know the passions of an author, cannot remember how long they have lain in my boxes unregarded, without imagining to myself the various changes of sorrow and resentment, which the writers must have felt in this tedious interval.
“ These reflections are still more awakened, when, upon perusal, I find some of them calling for a place in the next paper, a place which they have never yet obtained; others writing in a style of superiority and haughtiness, as secure of deference, and above fear of criticism; others humbly offering their weak assistance with softness and submission, which