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LONDON: Printed by JOHN NICHOLS and SON,
where LETTERS are particularly requested to be sent, POST-PAID
AND SOLD BY
JOHN HARRIS and SON (Successors to Mrs. NEWBERY),
TO SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
ON COMPLETING THE FIRST PART OF HIS XCth VOLUME.
Monarchs should from their envied greatness flee,
To live in Fame, SYLVANUS, great as thee. But Jove forbids, and I the task forbear; A grateful task, which greater well might share,
His deathless pages must record his praise, Himself alone must his own trophies raise; Yet not alone, fair Science and her train Of lesser Arts, or equals of her reign, With pride shall own SYLVANUS' fostring hand,
And bid to latest time his memory stand. Methinks, thro' ages yet to come, I see Admiring Genii bend green minds to thee; Each virgin Muse lead on, with hand uuseeu,
Their youthful steps, where Knowledge ever green
Springs in thy bounteous garden of the mind,
Like branching laurel that outlives the wind.
First white-rob'd Polyhymnia leads the
P R E F A СЕ.
WE have once more to thank our Readers for the encouragement
which we continue to receive, and to congratulate them and ourselves, under reasonable hopes of improving Times: and, if the prompt operation of Law has suppressed the danger of turbulent spirits, Literature has had labours of great difficulty, in the check which it has been obliged to oppose to restless innovations, founded upon the most controvertible principles. Persons who are somewhat elevated beyond the vulgar, by moderate education and accomplishment, are often desirous of distinguishing themselves; and commence Authors, not with the view of instruction or public benefit, but for reputation only. Each one has a favourite topick, a professional view of every subject; and public institutions are to veer, like weathercocks, in order to be suited to the plans of this or that Pamphleteer or Projector. Tell them that their plans are serious infringements of the Wisdom of Experience; and affect both person and property; that there is a science, attached to business, not to be acquired, but by habituation and practice; and that, if they themselves were put into the situations, which they represent as the most fit and proper, and obliged to act upon the ideas which they suggest as the only perfect ones, they would find them impracticable; and that if, as one man has an equal right with another to attention, they were permitted to occupy the time of our public men, persons intentionally or unintentionally dangerous, would acquire unmerited consequence; add, that as nine pamphlets out of ten are written from private motives, to please a party, religious or political, or to gain a name; and that every one has a right, if he so pleases, to refuse reading or hearing them, yet nothing will appease them short of a dictatorship over the minds of mankind. Now it is of infinite importance to the interests of Society, that there should be Periodical Journals of the form of our own, were it only in this view, of acting as Clerks of the Market, to prevent the Literary Public Stomach from being seriously injured by eating unwholesome food. The high utility of such Journals may be illustrated by an apposite instance. Not many years ago some of our leading Reviews were in the hands of able, but prejudiced Sectaries, who were in the habits of viewing all subjects in their own partial light; but, since the establishment of the great Quarterly Journals, every subject of any moment to the Publick is sure to be most elaborately discussed, in a proper scientific techni