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her whole life hath been loft in careffing the worst part of mankind'
and treating the best as her foes; and that if the knew Gulliver, though
he had been the worst enemy the ever had, he would give up her
prefent acquaintance for his friendship."_b

T. has fent us a rhapfody on the meanness of the ufual mode of par-
liamenteering, the defpicable nature of fervility to the court, and the
fhuffling tricks of the minister, in which there is such a mixture of
fense and vague declamation incongruously united, as prevents us from
employing it. It is a pity this writer, who seems to err only through
careleffnefs, fhould not bestow a little more attention to his pieces: For
by rejecting incongruous ideas, and arranging his thoughts more pro-
perly, his writings would acquire a beauty, a justness and energy which
they want at present. We beg leave to obferve, once for all, that ger
neral invective, efpecially in politic difquifitions, can seldom be of any
fervice. At least, it best serves those who wish to excite discontents
from particular views; and as this is no part of our aim, we shall in ge-
neral decline fuch writings. This is by no means intended to exclude
free difquifitions on any point whatever; for as the editor will give his
own sentiments, without hesitation, either for or against any measurė
that occurs, without refpect to the perfons by whom it may be promot
ed; fo he wishes his correfpondents to do the fame, without regard ei-
ther to his opinion, or that of any party; but he wishes they would let
their remarks be particular, and not general, and be expreffed with becom
ing moderation, as it is in this way alone, that precise ideas of right or
wrong can be attained.

An old whig, who affumes the oppofite fide of the question, and fome others, run into the fame error of being too general and vague in their mode of reafoning.

A young ftudent, Mr. 1. complains of the injury he has fuftained, by being obliged to attend a greater number of profeflors at the univerfity at once, than he can properly be able to understand, although he exerts his powers to the utmost. If this be a real cafe, it fhews the injudicioufnef of the parents; but we presume this is a safe, that feldom occurs. We fufpect, the error oftener lies in the other extreme.

·Benevoglio regrets, that both writers and lectures on ethics, so often disjoin religion from the moral principle, as he thinks the latter derive all their truths and efficacy from the former. "If the rules of morality are to be held binding on mankind, they must, like the rules and laws of human judicatories, infer, if not rewards for compliance with them, certain punishments for difobedience of them. How then, are thefe punishments discoverable, and by whom inflicted? If we are not to take into the account religious principles, which, whether derived from natural or revealed religion, instruct us that we are accountable to a fupreme being, who, will certainly vindicate laws, which, if they have any foundation in truth, must be derived from him?” This disjunction, the thinks, has given rife to a great many false systems, which have fuc ceeded each other; and which, by being fucceffively fhewn to be erroneous, tend to infpire young perfons with a notion, that there is no fo* td basis for morality, and to introduce a fpirit of fcepticism. He then pro

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ceeds to point out Paley's fyftem of ethics; which, by making religion the foundation of morality, avoids this great stumbling block, and strongly recommends it to the public.

Agrefis complains of the brutality of fome perfons, who, with a view, as they think, to preferve their own dignity, require from people of an inferior station, degrading marks of debasement and humility —And reprehends with great justice and severity, the infolent meanness of a young man of this fort, who permitted a poor old man with a few grey hairs in his head, to stand uncovered beside him for a quarter of an hour in the street while it rained hard; the gentleman, as he called himself, being fcreened all the while by his umbrella. Such difregard to the feelings of another, farely marks a meannefs of foul, that ought to be execrated by every one.


A Reader takes notice of the powerful influence of fashion in certain refpects, and strongly animadverts on the prevalence of the practice of duelling, which he fuppofes proceeds from this fource; and adduces many arguments that have been too often urged in vain, to check this growing evil. He introduces on this occafion a well-known story of a challenge that was fent by one number of a literary hody in Edinburgh, to another celebrated member of the fame, which we think, had better be fuffered to fall into oblivion, than he publicly connected with either of their names.

A Speculator, after pointing out the great benefits that would result to any country from the discovery of coals in it, if not already known, propofes, that the proprietors of each county fhould affefs themselves in a certain fum, to be equally born by all, according to their valued rent. This money to be employed in fearching for coals, wherever perfons of fkill fhould think they were most likely to be found, without any refpects to the proprietor on whole ground they fhould be discovered. If fuch an institution should be made, it no doubt might be the means of discovering fome; but we would recommend as an improvement to the plan, that in cafe a coal thould be thus difcovered, the whole of the money that had been advanced by the community fhould be repaid out of the firft of the profits; and perhaps it would be ftill more equitable to say, that each of the perfons who had been in the original affociation, fhould be entitled to receive what coals they had occafion for, for their own ufe, and that of their tenants, at one fourth, one eight, or any other rate that fhould be judged better, lower than the fame coals were fold for to others.

Scratch-crown points out the danger and folly of perfons in an inferior ftation, aping their betters in fashionable and expensive amusements: And defcribes a kind of low dancing-school balls or dances, that are at: tended by journeymen barbers, and others of a fimilar clafs in this town, which occafion expence to these persons they are ill able to afford, and are productive of many bad confequences. He therefore warmly dif fuades them from profecuting this kind of amusement, and rather recommends a tafte for reading in its stead.

Marcianus recommends to the notice of our readers a poem written by George Buchanan; an elegant epithalamium on the marriage of Mary of Scotland with Francis the dauphin of France, on which he of

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fers a copious comment:-But to English readers this would prove nothing interefting, and claffical scholars can find the original in the works of Buchanan. It would prove a more acceptable entertainment to a li terary fociety, than this mifcellany. It is a pity it fhould be loft, and will be returned if defired..


A real friend, objects with great ferioufnefs against the effay "on the iniquity of prefcribing oaths in certain cafes and with much earneftnefs, reprobates the doctrines contained in that paper, for which we do not fee a fufficient foundation. The chief weight of his argument lies in the impropriety of representing human nature in fuch a degrading light, as to fuppofe that mankind are generally influenced by worldly confiderations.-Now, allowing the fulleft weight to this objection, it can reach no farther than this, that granting fome men fhould be found who will, în no cafe, be influenced by worldly confiderations, it must be admitted, that there are many who have not the fortitude of mind to refift temptations. We are even taught by the highest authority to pray that we may be delivered from temptation. It is certainly, therefore, to be wished, that as few allurements as poffible fhould be held out to invite weak creatures to deviate from the right path. And this, we think is all the moral that can fairly be inferred from the paper reprehended.

As to the circumftance of one perfon entertaining a higher idea than another of the human powers, refpecting virtuous exertions, different perfons have ever entertained different opinions, and will continue to do fo till the end of time; and it would be a vain attempt to try to reconcile them in this respect. If they can be brought to concur in attempt ing to render men better and wifer than they have been, a great point will be gained: and this fhall be our aim.

Cato, who allo figns R. fays he was deputed by a fet of merry fellows to give a critique on the ftanzas entituled," "The feafon for remembering the poor." From the name he has given to the fociety of which he is a member, we prefume it was intended to be very droll;—but that species of wit, called humour, is perhaps more difficult to acquire, where nature has not planted the feeds of it, than any other.-The critique in queftion is entirely devoid of it, and therefore could have afforded no entertainment to our readers.

Irony is another fpecies of wit, which, when dexteroufly managed, is exquifitely pleafing; but where it is not truly fine, it is of no value. We are forry to be obliged to decline the intended attire by a pretty fellow, on account of the want of edge in the irong.--Swift has evidently been the model-but Sterne and Swift, from the exquifite beauty of fome of their productions, have mifled more young writers, in hopes of attaining that kind of excellence by imitating them, than perhaps any others in the English language. To admire their pieces, and to be able to imi tate them fuccefsfully, are very different things. We with to fee as few. imitations of any fort, as poffible. When the mind is rongly impreffed with ideas, it cannot find leisure to think of the manner of others, but advances with a firm ftep, regardless of the frippery of affectation. If the shoughts are bold and juft, the expreffions are ufually artless and energetic,

and seldom fail to please. Meo fum pauper in Ære was the boast of an old author. A man ufually appears to much better advantage in a plain drefs of his own, than in more gaudy apparel that has been made to fit another.

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To the Reader.

At the clofe of this volume, it would be unbecoming in the editor not to express the juft fenfe he entertains of the favour with which an indulgent public hath honoured this performance. So confcious, indeed, is he of the little merit of what is already done, that he finds himself much at a lofs for words to exprefs the grateful fenfe he entertains of the uncommon encouragement he has received. Since the commencement of this work, his attention has been too much occupied by the arrangements, refpecting the mechanical execution of it, to allow him to beftow that attention he wished to the literary part. These embaraffments are now, however, in part abated, and he trufts that every day will diminish them more and more. But, upon reviewing this volume, he is perfuaded that few of his readers will feel fo fenfibly its imperfections, as he does himfeif. Relying upon the indulgence of the public, he judged it more adviseable to delay feveral articles that came within the limits of his plan, than to attempt them at a time when it would have been quite impracticable for him to have done them, what he would have thought juftice in the execution.


He has received several communications from unknown correfpondents, expreffive of fuch approbation; from others he has received letters in fuch a ftrain, as could not have failed to excite his refible faculties, had his mind been in a proper frame for it. Perfons who can scarcely spell three words on end, and who cannot write a sentence, without committing the strangeft grammatical blunders, affume the place of judges, and, without hesitation, have criticized every piece that has appeared in this collection, and pronounced the whole, without one fingle exception, "moft execrable stuff." (pardon the vulgarity of the phrase). Perfons, whofe reading has scarcely extended to a common newspaper, pronounced the whole to be borrowed from other performances, and have condefcended on particular pieces by name, as entirely transcribed from other works, of which the editor well knew, that not a line or a fentence had ever been seen elsewhere. Thefe performances he has allowed to flide into oblivion, without fo much as a note of remem brance upon the blue cover. To fome others he has been indebted for fome juft reprehenfions and ufeful hints, of which he will avail himfelf.


One general theme on which these unskillful critics have uniformly dwelt, is want of originality in the pieces that have been offered in this mifcellany; a circumitance that ftrongly betrayed their want of reading, for in refpect of the proportional number of original pieces, this mifcellany as far as it has gone, may stand a fair comparifon with any other that is

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published, and without a doubt, contains a much greater proportion of thefe than most of the periodical publications in Britain. This circumftance, however, is here ftated merely as a matter of fact, and is not adduced as a proof of its fuperior excellence. Had fewer original pieces been admitted, it is by no means improbable that its intrinsic merit might have been the greater; as well chofen copies from other works may be more valuable, than compofitions that have never been publifhed. Had originality of matter been all his aim, the editor might eafily have fatisfied himself; as he has materials in his poffeflion that might have filled several volumes, without taking a fingle line from any printed work whatever. But as the avowed intention of this mifcellany, is to felect from other performances, as well as to give new matter, he thinks he fhould have been to blame, had he not attempted in fome meafure to comply with the terms of his proposals. This he has done as to this particular to a certain degree, though, were he himself to judge, not fo much as he ought to have done; but he thinks he perceives, that others put a higher value upon mere originality as fuch, than he does; nor will he prefume to fet up his own judgment as a standard for others, but will endeavour to accommodate himself in every innocent compliance, as much as he can,. to the defires of the public. No part of the office that falls to his share as an editor, is half fo difagreeable as that of rejecting pieces, that perfons from the best motives have had the goodness to fend him? and nothing but a strong sense of duty to his readers, could induce him to take it upon himself. The writers of these pieces, it may be fuppofed, eye them with a parent's fondness. One naturally feels a reluctance at the thought of giving pain: fhould the judgment in thefe circumftance he fwayed a little by good nature, it ought to be confidered as a more excufeable weakness, than a stern severity. Yet the editor fears, that many of his correfpondents will think there is little room for accufing him of this weakness, while others will fay he is guilty of it to an unpardonable degree. Of this he does not complain, nor of the contradictory requests of his different correfpondents, fome of whom condemn in the feverest terms, those pieces that others talk of with rapture; while in their turn they difapprove of the performances, the others have highly applauded; fo that, like the man with the two wives, who weeded out of his head alternately the black hairs and the white, were they permitted to go on, he should foon have none, or were he to liften to both parties, he would be reduced to the neceflity of presenting a book, like Stern, of blank pages, as the only mean left of avoiding offence. Of all this the editor does not complain, because every one who affumes the office he bears, must expect a fimilar fate. Knowing therefore, that it is impoffible to please alike every taste, he will go on to felect, to the best of his judgment, fuch pieces, whether originals or copies, as fhall feem to have the best chance of forwarding the views announced in his profpectus; ever paying due attention to the friendly hints of thofe who think he errs, and relying upon the public indulgence for overlooking unavoidable defects.

It is with infinite vexation he remarks the number of typographical errors that have flipt into this work. Of the circumftances that have oc

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