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HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY, THE BELLES LETTRES,
JANUARY to JUNE, INCLUSIVE.
[Price 10s. 6d. Half Bound.]
Printed by Squire & Warwick, Furnival's-Lin Court,
IT has frequently been observed by those who have endeavoured
to refine the manners of mankind, that to discharge the petty offices of life is often more difficult, than to perform actions of higher importance. To excel in tritles indeed is a praise which few can arrogate to themselves; and yet, he that cannot descend as well as soar, may be proud of stupendous excellence which astonishes by its elevation; but he will be without that union of opposite qualities which delights while it astonishes. He whose credulity is vast enough to believe all that is fabled of the Admirable Crichton, as he is called by pre-eminence, may see in him the value of such varied acquirements.
By this time our readers have, probably, asked themselves what they are reading. A Preface? Yes: for what is a preface, but an anticipation of the future; and what does the above mean--but to tell how little is to be expected ? If we must turn commentators upon our own words, we explain our meaning to be, that the uniformity of yearly prefaces to a periodical miscellany sets invention at defiance: that it is trifling ; and yet, as a trifle, is capable of more embellishment than we perhaps can give it: that it is looked for, and therefore cannot be omitted.
Yet, what can we say that has not been said before? To promise for the future, and to boast of the past, seem to be the legitimate objects of such compositions: and we all know with what strictness the legality is enforced. As a parliamentary candidate bids his constituents look back upon the purity, the energy, and the patriotism of his conduct, and assures them that the past is only a faint type of what is to come, when his purity shall be