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Ne quid falsi dicere audeat, one quid veri non audeat.
E DIN BURGH:
P R E F A C E.
HE general increase of readers for some years past,
and the niany advantages arising from it in a nation where Liberty is enjoy'd, have encouraged various attempts to suit the learning of the times to the
purchase and opportunity of persons of every station.
AMONGST these, after many trials without success ; after Monthly Mercuries, Chronicles, Registers, Amusements, &c. had been tried in vain, a Monthly Magazine at last appear’d, which, from the industry and influence of the proprietor, soon met with encouragement; the variety of which it consisted, and the unufual quantity it contain'd, yielding satisfaction to all who gave
it a perufal.
The kind reception which the Gentleman's Magazine met with, quickly produced a rival; and as it is much easier to improve the plan of another, than to form one, the London Magazine appear'd with some advantage: And, had not the managers of that work discover'd fo much prejudice against the Gentlemen to whom they owed its existence, it would, probably, have had fuperior success. But, as it is, they are both enabled to appear with far more advantage than any works of the same kind which preceeded them.
The demand for thefe Magazines being considerable in this kingdom, and our distance from the place of their publication rendering their contents stale before they came to hand, several persons were put upon endeavouring to remove these inconveniencies by supplying their place with a production of our own. But this was found liable to so many difficulties as were not easily remov'd:—though at length they were surmounted; and The SCOTS MAGAZINE was offer'd the publick when the taste for such collections promis'd all desirable success. And we are far from consplaining of its reception, 2
Besides these, there were other, more important causes for undertaking this work; since, surely the interest of Scotland, abstractedly consider'd, is worthy our most watchful attention: In which view we have had the pleasure of gaining the thanks and approbation of several Gentlemen who have done
honour to this undertaking. And while many are so variously engaged to promote the particular interest of the more Southern part of this isand, it is at least laudable, if it be not necessary, to pay fome separate regard to the welfare and prosperity of a country that has been the scene of actions the memory whereof will ever bloom while Fame exifts.
For, though in many things calculated for the good of Great Britain, Scotland is little more than nominally consider'd; her distance from the seat of monarchy, instead of dispiriting, should prompt her sons to compensate that misfortune by their extraordinary zeal in her service, to shew themselves equal to the prefent disadvantage of their situation; and, by an earnest exertion of their talents, revive that universal esteem which SCOTLAND so justly acquir'd amongst her neighbours by the valour and learning of our ancestors.
Besides these, several other reasons produc'd this Magazine:
One, That our readers might have a more in partial view of political disputes than had appeared in any
other. * Another, That the occurrences of Europe might not be wholly loft, to make room for the low views of private perfons ; and that the fate of kingdoms might not give place to personal quarrels. -THAT the just and grievous charge of castration and muti: lation might be entirely
remov'd, by admitting every Gentle man to speak his own language.
That the Caledonian Muse might not be restrain'd by want of a publick Ecbo to her song.
And, finally, That our countrymen might have the productions of every month, sooner, cheaper, and better collected, than before,
- SUCH was our plan: And if those of our countrymen who are biaffed in favour of far-fetch'd productions, will deign us a critical perusal, we flatter ourselves with being found to exceed our brethren in many articles, and we have endeavour'd to be behind them in none. We have so constantly preferred the pleasure of our readers to any low considerations of our own intereft, that we cannot but hope any variation from those of England, which may at first be dinik'd merely for being a variation, will be readily approv'd upon a strict comparison.
To say more upon this subject, would be passing that judgment which we ought, and chearfully do, submit to the publick: To lay less, would be equally subject to blame; as we think, in an undertaking of this kind, it is as necessary to offer our motives, as our performance, to the judgment of our readers.
THOUGH we do not offer to swell the intention of this work so far as to pretend to be free from all desire of gain ; we can, with the utmost fincerity, assure the publick, that any
increase to the generous encouragement we have already met with, shall be carefully applied toward making this Magazine more acceptable. And we hope we have already convinced our readers, that we are as earnest after its merit, as the profits it may be expected to produce: Though this may, indeed, be vindicated from the rules of private policy; for, however men may from indolence, or other causes, be sometimes deceived, profit is only accidental where the foundation for expecting it is not good. – If our great labour and expence produce not an ade quate return to our readers, we must inevitably be lofers by our assiduity: And if we are found worthy the continuance and increase of the countenance we have received, we are bold to say, we fear not but we shall have it : since, notwithstanding the faThionable complaint against the modern taste, it is our opinion, that though sometimes, from unavoidable circumstances, a work of merit may fail of the encouragement it deserves; yet such instances are very rare, when compar'd with the numerous attempts made, without even a probability of success, by persons incapable of executing what they undertake.
Our most grateful thanks are due to our many kind and ingenious correspondents; by whose aid we have been greatly af