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In periodical publications, however, a preface has to perform the functions that its name implies —to explain what is intended to be, not what is done: and we accordingly find, that this part of the work generally bears marks of the writer's most sedulous attention. Example, nevertheless, instead of instigating me, as perhaps it ought, has here, I must confess, a very opposite deterring effect. For when I view the various, excellentlylaid projects, the large and flourishing promises, which usher in so many brilliant commencements —and remark afterwards, in so many continuances, so sad, so unfortunate an oblivion of all execution and fulfilment—I fear, I own, to incur the danger of falling into a similar error, and of meriting with them the being stigmatized from the ever-sensible Horace with “ Parturiunt montes.” I know but of one mode of easily and certainly obviating this —it is by pledging myself to no schemes, and by not holding out any promises whatsoever. However little may, then, be done, that little will still exceed aught to be claimed as matter of right. I cannot, then, in any event, be said to have falsified my reader's hopes, for I shall not have incited him to entertain any: and if I do, subsequently, prove better than my word, and “pay the debt I never promised,” my first offence of omission will at least be compensated for by “making that offence a skill.”

But still there may be some who condemn me

for having troubled myself to write at all, and more, for having presumed to trouble them, who may good-naturedly cite to me

“ Let such teach others, who themselves excel,

And censure freely who have written well,”– and then ask how I have had the rashness to think myself competent to give them either advice or information: To these I must observe, that my own trouble I shall consider but as in the light of pleasure, as I write myself, and invite others to do so -only for amusement. With respect to themselves, I disclaim any responsibility, for if they encounter trouble, to them be it imputed, for now that we are but in the vestibule, every one has of course a full liberty to enter in or go no farther, as he may choose. As to the presumption of thinking myself competent to give advice or information, the latter charge I deny-I do not expect

I from any writing of my own to add to the stock of ideas that my readers may possess : but I do hope-perhaps too sanguinely—that some kind correspondents may start up to please and instruct both them and myself. On the former charge—if it be a crime I at once plead guilty. I will not say that such is my intention, but I certainly consider myself able to give advice; and I challenge my accuser to produce any person who thinks otherwise: for himself, his hints to me at least implicate him in the charge. Some sage philosopher—though I cannot just now recollect his name


—very finely observes, that “there are three things we can all do, viz. prescribe medicine, give advice, and poke the fire.” Why then should I be denied a privilege which is thus declared common?

The quotation from Pope I will not heed, it is indeed somewhat unfair, and Johnson has observed, that it resembles the sentiment “ Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat;" I prefer the more liberal one of Horace, of which I trust my readers will excuse the following rough translation :

“ I, though I scribble in Apollo's spite,
Can teach to others what is just and right;
And thus the whetstones on the steel bestow

An edge with which themselves can never glow.” But I have now said enough, and must not forget another excellent hint of his

“ Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem”—.

not to let my brightness sink into smoke, but, (like the patent gas-light society) to elicit from smoke a brilliant light. I will at least endeavour to keep · this in mind, and even should I not succeed, will remember the "magnis tamen excidit ausis”— " though he has fallen, he dared greatly,” with many other such pertinent observations, and thus, like Hudibras,

“ Console myself with ends of verse,

And sayings of philosophers.”


THE Editor of “The Moofossul Miscellany” will consider himself extremely obliged to any persons who may aid him in his undertaking, and honour him with their correspondence. He pledges himself that the greatest attention shall be paid to their favours. At the same time, it will of course rest with him, as with all other editors, to insert or reject what may be offered, as he shall deem good :—and he begs that it may be farther understood that he intends to exercise this prerogative in silence. He is aware that, in giving up the “notices to correspondents,” he deprives himself of excellent opportunities for displaying keen and witty remarks,—such as,

6 A. B.'s lines to Delia” contain much more affection than poetry:

“ C. D. in his Essay on Conscience," seems to think it not requisite to shew any to his readers :

“ E. F.'s Epigram on the Comet” wants, unfortunately, what its subject so eminently possesses— a brilliant tail, &c. &c.

This, at the best, is taking an ex parte advantage, --striking a blow without giving your adversary an opportunity of parrying or retaliating it; and in renouncing it, therefore, he flatters himself he shall be thought to have deviated from a custom “more honoured in the breach than the observance."


SIR,_I offer you a few thoughts, loosely thrown together, on a subject which must have frequently presented itself to the observation of every one of your readers, viz.—Characteristical Partialities.

Nothing is more commonly met with than these, yet there is nothing which a wise man should more strenuously strive to avoid, for though the entertaining a love for any particular object or science is, in itself, by no means reprehensible, yet, when this love becomes so inordinate, as to exclude from the mind the power of duly admiring aught besides, there is nothing which serves more to weaken the reasoning faculties, or narrow the understanding.

Yet the minds of most men have naturally a bent towards this failing; and it is against the approaches to it, therefore, that our attention should chiefly be directed. “ Il n'y a que le premier pas qui coute,”—-habits of thinking upon only one subject are very soon acquired, and this too quickly becomes, as it were, an unalterable part of the constitution of the mind. A violent and unequal partiality is contracted, and so devoted, in a short time, is every faculty to it, that attention

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