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for anxiety and circumspection. That reputation which years have been spent in acquiring, he is well aware is often irrecoverably lost in one day. An accidental slip of the pen, the adoption of an opinion not generally received, or a stroke of satire at a prevailing and fashionable vice, may offend those who are looked up to as the arbiters of taste; and with whom a thousand acknowledged beauties will not be considered sufficient compensation for one solitary blunder, one single error (if error it be) of imagination or of judgment. As the frailties of men, distinguished for their talents virtues, are commonly treated with a degree of severity proportioned to the estimation in which their characters were previously held-so, in this case, the superior merit of preceding compositions, will be officiously adduced as aggravating a subsequent deterioration.

Should the author, on the contrary, find that his first essay drops “ dead born” from the

press,

and neither procures him applause nor censure; or if it experience still greater severity, and all expectations of success be nipped in the bud by the chil, ling breath of uncandid critieism, it can scarcely be expected that a second attempt will be equally vigorous as the former. Few persons are so devoid of sensibility as to be totally indifferent to either praise or censure. Under such circumstances,

consciousness of the purity of our intentions is indeed a powerful incentive to action; but this alone will scarcely suffice to give animation to our pursuits, unless perseverance in them is clearly and decisively pointed out as the path of duty. What wonder, therefore, if the spirit of exertion relax; and those plans which were conceived in a moment of mental exhilaration, be conducted with supineness, if not totally relinquished, in a fit of despondency? Few men have possessed a greater degree of resolution than Sir Walter Raleigh ; yet even that accomplished scholar and statesman, we are told, was not proof against the untoward treatment which his well-known history of the world experienced. It is confidently asserted, that the manuscript of a second volume of that work was committed to the flames, lest it should bring upon the publisher of it the same disastrous consequences which had attended the publication of the former part.

In such a predicament, it must surely be conceded to the periodical essayist, that if those discouragements which he has encountered ought not to produce an immediate cessation of his labour, at least they lessen the inducement to prosecute it with an additional degree of energy ;-unless indeed we were to reverse the maxim of Phocion, who, when he was interrupted by the applause of the people,

in the midst of an oration at Athens, inquired of his friends, what folly he had committed ?-How far the sentiments which that great man entertained of the Athenians were just, I shall not take upon me to decide; but I have a better opinion of my own countrymen, than to suppose his insinuation applicable to them: and I do hereby give it under my hand, that whenever they are pleased to applaud any of the numbers of the INSPECTOR, I shall not, to use the words of honest Dogberry, “ set it down” as folly either in myself or them.

In the preceding observations, my readers, I trust, will not accuse me of attempting to enhance my own importance, by pressing upon their attention the care and anxiety which authors undergo in their endeavours to convey amusement and instruction, Like many manual employments, which seem so easy to the careless spectator as to require little skill or address, their writings appear capable of being put together with such facility, as gives the reader very contracted ideas of the labour and art indispensably necessary for their composition. In the acquirement of that information requisite to constitute a literary character, many irksome days and sleepless nights must be passed. Such sacrifices appear

entitled to some little remuneration, independently of that internal pleasure with which the acquisition of knowledge is generally attended;

and it does not seem unreasonable to expect, that the same candour, in judging of their productions, should be extended to authors, which is readily conceded to the ingenious artist or handicraftsman.

With regard to the personal feelings of the INSPECTOR, in what has been advanced, I may be allowed to observe, that as my preceding number has not, to my knowledge, received either excessive praise or extravagant censure, so neither has it fallen from the press totally without notice. The choice of a mode of publication which insured it an extensive circulation, has been productive of advantages superior to those possessed by others ushered into the world in a detached form, and obtained for it a much greater number of readers, than otherwise could have been expected. Several correspondents have favoured me with communications, some of which will, in due time, be laid before the public. In answer to others, it

may be necessary to state, that the INSPECTOR is not meant to be made a vehicle for personal satire or virulent abuse. Whatever tends to promote the interests and happiness of society, the love and practice of virtue, or a salutary detestation of vice, will be sure to meet with attention. He who is unable to write a book, may

here have an opportunity of trying the extent of his literary

acquirements in a short essay: and under the mask of secresy, be enabled to ascertain the opinion of his contemporaries respecting his real or imaginary qualifications, without subjecting himself to such mortifications as envy and personal dislike are ever ready to inflict on him who openly avows himself a candidate for public approbation.

NUMBER 3.

The speedy and extensive communication which, within the last century, has been opened between the metropolis and the most distant parts of the country, has led to the adoption of many customs and modes of life, in the latter, which in old time were supposed to belong exclusively to the former; and it seems no deviation from truth to assert, that however contemptible the inhabitants of a provincial town may appear to a thorough-bred cockney, our present state of society will not be found inferior to that which prevailed in London itself, forty or fifty years ago.

Perhaps in no point of view is this assimilation more conspicuous, than in the eagerness with

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