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FIRST PART OF THE EIGHTY-FIRST VOLUME.
July 1811. ONCE more, and with cheerfulness, we enter upon the discharge of our periodical duty; and, with true sincerity, tender our humble tribute of respect and gratitude to our Friends and Correspondents. We may assert with honest pride, that the first are 'undiminished in number, and that the latter are far from being decreased either in value or importance.
Μήτοι τόγ' εμόν πρόθυμος
Φίλοισιν άπέσω. . We, on our part, shall continue our utmost exertions to prove how highly we estimate the place we have so long and so uniformly held in the public favour. If indeed any new stimulus were wanting, it seems to present itself in the form of certain anomalous Competitors, who, under the novel allurement of appearing only once a quarter, assert their claims to curiosity and attention. The World of Literature is large enough for us all; and we neither mean to dispute their equal right with ourselves to become Candidates for distinction and reward, nor by any means to depreciate the value of their labours. We wish modestly and perspicuously to state, for the information of such of our Readers as may be so situated as not precisely to understand the nature of the ground we differently occupy, the following, which we apprehend to be no unimportant Facts :
Our Monthly Publication exhibits a systematic History of Literature, in all its various branches : whereas our Brethren who make their appearance but four times in the year, selecting a few, for they cannot comprehend many, of such Works as they may think proper, make them the vehicle of ingenious comment and critical observation, of
political political opinion and discussion, perhaps of political prejudice and party. That such may be consulted with benefit, and perused with satisfaction, we by no means pretend to deny ; nay further, we are prepared to pay them the willing tribute of praise, for much acute remark and learned disquisition. Our pretensions are of a different, and, let it he permitted as to add, of a more permanent nature: Their usefulness is more local and temporary; their materials for amusemerrt, and information too, are necessarily more limited.
Our Volumes exhibit, and will continue to exhibit, a regularly connected series of information on the Literature of our Country, its Politicks, Domestic History, Antiquities, Biography, and Poetry; a faithful and regular detail also of the Occurrences in Foreign Parts ; and every other subject which can tend to make a miscellaneous Periodical Work productive of immediate gratification, or proper hereafter to be consulted as a faithful and authentic record.
Having said thus much, and we trust without offence, it is not possible to conclude without reverting, as we always do, to the condition of our beloved Country. Would that it were permitted us to congratulate our Fellow-Citizens on the early prospect of again cultivating without molestation the Peaceful Olive! But the thirst for blood, which has so long tormented the infuriated Tyrant of the Continent, is not even yet satiated. But surely a brighter dawn may be discerned in the Political Hemisphere; it may be contemplated in the Laurel Wreaths which our gallant Countrymen have so gloriously won at Busaco, Albuera, and on the Plains of Portugal: it may be hailed in the moral operation progressively taking its effect in the patriotic bosoms of our oppressed and persecuted Allies. May our hopes be prophetic! and when we shall next again bring ourselves before our Readers, may we have the delightful occasion presented to us, of cheering the return of Liberty to the ravaged and insulted Nations of Europe; and the sweet and grateful task of welcoming the wished-for return of British Heroes from fields of glory to mansions of tranquillity and peace, no more to be disturbed by the ruthless spirit of Warand lawless Ambition !
28 40 29.7 cloudy most of the day
cloudy, frequent rain, very windy
30- 1 cloudy
29. 9 cloudy at times, with showers
31 39 30- 7 cloudy, some light rain.
be seen in the general statements, to be inserted in our next.
91 92 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 SO 31
METEOROLOGICAL Table for January 1811. By W. CARY, Strand. Height of Fahrenheit's Thermometer. Height of Fahrenheit's Thermometer.
THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE,
For JANUARY, 1811.
have been learned at school; some. ON HISTORY AND HISTORIANS. thing from early reading. Let him Mr. URBAN,
take what period he may, a period so
remote that it would seem to bar all IT T is the duty of an Historian to
access to prejudice or affection, yet search for truth. It is his office he cannot proceed a single step, or, to record it.
certainly, not very far in his inquiries, While it must be confessed that the without feeling that he is beginning first quality in an Historian is impar- to form certain opinions which, in his tiality; it must at the same time be farther progress, he hopes to co m, allowed that perfect impartiality is and has a pleasure and a triumph in oftener to be admired than to be ex- confirming.' The facts upon wbich he pected. Coolness and indifference, operates are not new; but he has, perfreedom from passion and from pre- haps, examined their evidence with a conceived opinion, are the conditions nicer eye, and thinks he can represent which we invariably demand of Histo- them in a new light. He is, perhaps, sians, without considering that a per: proud in the expectation that, by comfect compliance with these terms, if bating received opinions, he may it were possible, would sometimes in- make those sources of information terfere with the pleasure which we
appear to be original, which were expect from History, and which plea thought to be trite and familiar. It sure is, perhaps, as ardently expected is this expectation which calls forth as the highest object of instruction. the higher exertious of his genius, Perfect impartiality may give facts, and produces the eloquence, energy, and facts will unquestionably impart and grandeur of description, which instruction. But facts that are not
we not only agree to praise, but imconnected by eloquence, nor illustrat- periously demand in those who preed by philosophy, although they may
sume to rival the Historians whoin contribute to the industry of an Annal. public opinion has placed at the top ist, will never constitute the fame of of their class. those Historians whom all read and
Perhaps no writers bave more opall admire. The one are restricted portunities of exhibiting their own by the limitatious of an affidavit, but affections and opinions, or are more the other are permitted to make ex- ready to embrace those opportunities, cursions into the regions of argument, than Historiaps. To this they are inand even imagination. Facts may duced by the great variety of incident form a Strype or a Maitland, but will of which their narrative is composed, never give usa Robertson or a Hume. and by the facility, approaching to
When, therefore, we detect the fail. cunning, with which they can insinųings of Historians in the article of ate an opinion, or support a theory, impartiality, let us honestly confess while, to superficial readers, they the general imperfection of human
seem only to be illustrating an event nature, and reflect that the partiali- in which they are not particularly ties of which we are ready to complain interested, or drawing the character have perhaps been the animating mo- of a personage for whom they cannot tives to which we owe the very beau- be suspected of having any close affecties that principally claim and receive tion. "And so invariably has this been our admiration. It is impossible to the case with all the eminent writers, expect that any, man çan sit down to
of History, that there seems no hope write History without some precon- of remedy less absurd than that the aeived" opinions. Something must Historian should give up the privile.