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UPERFICIAL obfervers may imagine, that, having this talk of writing a Preface fo frequently to fulfil, we must be at a confiderable lofs from want of novelty; that every fubject of Literature, of Politics, or the refult of the common occurrences of life, must have been repeatedly introduced and exhaufted. The contrary is the fact; fuch a variety of objects croud before us, in all that interefts the attention, or exercifes the paffions of mankind, that felection creates the only difficulty.
We are called upon first to make our acknowledgments for the unceafing, the progreffively increafing, kindness of the Publick, to us and our exertions. No tumults abroad, no jealoufies at home, no viciffitudes of events, no prejudices, emulations, oppofitions in Politicks or Learning, have turned the current of popular favour or attention from our unremitted exertions to contribute to the public stock of ingenuous amufement. And this declaration, prompted by a fpirit of honeft and heart-felt pride, will ferve only to ftimulare us to greater and nobler efforts.
As to Politicks, if they whofe memory we revere, under whofe aufpices this Publication firft commenced, and by whofe talents it rofe to eminent diftinction, could now dif cern the condition of Europe and of the world; Thrones and Potentates, whom they venerated, "fallen from their high eftate;" others exalted to the pinnacle of greatnefs, whofe fathers, to borrow the high and emphatic language of the Eaftern Sage, "they would have difdained to have fet with the dogs of their flock;" what powers could defcribe their fenfations!--For us, no changes that have already taken place, or that can hereafter happen, can turn the bias of our minds. Attachment to our Sovereign, veneration for the Civil and Ecclefiaftical Conftitution of our Country, infufed into our infancy, has incorporated with our fyftem, and, ftrengthening with our ftrength, can only ceafe when our vital powers are exhaufted. With changes of men and of minifters, with the violence of parties, or the animofities, envies, and oppofitions of individuals, we have nothing to do. That our principles are firm, fixed, and immutable, must be obvious and legible to every eye that perufes our volumes. Our King and Conftitution are the objects of our unalterable affection and fupport.
With respect to Literature, perhaps, our prejudices are lefs circumfcribed. We would candidly afford an opportunity of difcufling and analyzing all Literary Queftions. We may affert with fome pride, that our pages have afforded the
means of producing Truth to light from very dark and myf terious recefles, in queftions profound and complicated, obfcured by the artifices of fophiftry, and enveloped by the gloom of error. Whilft we can boaft among our correspondents, individuals of the moft enlarged minds, the most exalted science, and the most extenfive accomplishments, we can have little doubt of exhibiting what will both attract and deferve the countenance by which we have been so long and fo honourably diftinguished.
The improved facility of our communication with the Continent in confequence of the Peace (may it be perpetual!) will enable us to have a more familiar acquaintance with fuch Foreign Publications as may be more immediately deferving confideration. We fhall conftantly avail ourselves of this circumstance, and fhall not fail to draw from it a new and increasing fource of our Readers' gratification. The tumult of War has happily fubfided; and Science begins to withdraw from her retreat, and to fhew herfelf to the world with improved vigour and renewed charms. Even in France the fpeaks the language of cheerfulness, and calls to her Sifter Mufes on the British (hores with the voice of friendship. We fhall be vigilant on our part, and omit no opportunity of any kind, or from any quarter, of teftifying our zeal in the caufe of Learning.
The feries of our volumes, continued for fo long a period, and involving the hiftory of events of the most momentous confequence to fociety, cannot poffibly, in their future detail, excite a lefs earneft curiofity. The perpetual and important difcoveries in Philofophy, Geography, and indeed every branch of knowledge, afford new incitements to the ardour of experiment, and the pride of genius. Such alfo is the prefent refined state of general fociety, that even the lighter departments of the Belles Lettres are diftinguished by a grace, a polifh, and an elegance, before unknown. This, is apparent from various popular productions every fucceeding month; and not lefs fo, we trust, from THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE. We fhall, therefore, continue to affert our claim to public favour by a Mifcellany intended to comprehend and to fatisfy the variety of public tafte. Our principles, as before obferved, are well known and tried; from them we shall continue to act: no place will be found in our pages for any of thofe new-fangled principles and doctrines which diftract the minds of individuals, interrupt the ferenity of the public peace, degrade the purity of our faith, and contaminate the garb of morality. Let writers of fuch a defcription exercife their mifchievous abilities in other