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Among these Candidates of inferiour Fame, I am now to stand the Judgment of the Publick, and wish that I could confidently produce my Commentary as equal to the Encouragement which I have had the Honour of receiving. Every Work of this Kind is by its Nature deficient ; and I should feel liite Solicitude about the Sentence, were it to be pronounced only by the Skilful and the Learned.
P R E F A с Е
T HE public may justly require to be informed
I of the Nature and Extent of every Delign, for which the Favour of the Publick is openly folicited. The Artists, who were themselves the first Projectors of an Exhibition in this Nation, and who have now contributed to the following Catalogue, think it therefore necessary to explain their Purpose, and juftify their Conduct. 'An Exhibition of the Works of Art, being a Spectacle new in this Kingdom, has raised various Opinions and Conjectures among those who are unacquainted with the Practice in foreign Nations. Those who set out their Performances to general View, have been too often confidered as the Rivals of each other, as Men actuated, if not by Avarice, at least by Vanity, and contending for Superiority of Fame, though not for a pecuniary Prize. It cannot be denied or doubted, that all who offer themselves to Criticism are desirous of Praise ; this Desire is not only innocent, but virtuous, while it is undebased by, Artifice, and unpolluted by Envy; and of Envy or Artifice these Men can never be accused, who, already enjoying all the Honours and Profits of their Profeflion, are content to stand Candidates for public Notice, with Genius yet unexperienced, and Diligence yet unrewarded ; who, without any Hope of increasing their own Reputation or Interest, expose their Names and their Works only that they may furnish an Opportunity of Appearance to the
Young, the Diffident, and the Neglected. The Purpose of this Exhibition is not to enrich the Artists, but to advance the Art; the Eminent are not flattered with Preference, nor the Obscure insulted with Contempt, whoever hopes to deserve public Favour, is here invited to display his Merit.
Of the Price put upon this Exhibition fome Account may be demanded. Whoever fets his Work to be shewn, naturally desires a Multitude of Spectators; but his Desire defeats its own End, when Spectators aflemble in such Numbers as to obstruct one another. Though we are far from wilhing to diminish the Pleasures, or depreciate the Sentiments of any Class of the Community, we know, however, what every one kuows, that all cannot be Judges or Purchasers of Works of Art : yet we have already found by Experience, that all are desirous to fee an Exhibition. When the Terms of Admisfion were low, our Room was thronged with such Multitudes as made Access dangerous, and frightenened away those whose Approbation was most defired.
Yet, because it is seldom believed that Money is got but for the Love of Money, we shall tell the Use which we intend to make of our expected Pro. fits.
Many Artists of great Abilities are unable to sell their Works for their due Price; to remove this Inconvenience, an annual Sale will be appointed, to which every Man must send his Works, and send them if he will without his Name. These Works will be reviewed by the Committee that conduct the Exhibition. A Price will be secretly set on every Piece, and registered by the Secretary. If the Piece exposed is sold for more, the whole Price shall be the Artist's; but if the Purchaser's Value it at less than the Committee, the Artist shall be paid the Defi. ciency from the Profits of the Exhibition.
In which is delineated what a News-PAPER may
and ought to be.
TT has always been lamented, that of the little
| Time allotted to Man, much must be spent upon Superfluities. Every Prospect has its Obstructions which we must break to enlarge our View : Every Step of our Progress finds impediments, which however eager to go forward we must stop to remove. Even those who profess to teach the Way to Hap. piness, have multiplied our Incumbrances, and the Authour of almost every Book retards his Instructions by a Preface.
The Writers of the Chronicle hope to be easily forgiven, though they should not be free from an Infection that has seized the whole Fraternity, and instead of falling immediately to their Subjects, should detain the Reader for a Time with an Account of the Importance of their Delign, the Extent of their Plan, and the Accuracy of the Method which they intend to prosecute. Such Premonitions, though not always necessary when the Reader has the Book complete in his Hand, and may find by his own Eyes whatever can be found in it, yet may more easily be allowed to Works published
gradually gradually in successive Parts, of which the Scheme can only be so far known, as the Authour shall think fit to discover it. : The Paper which we now invite the Public to add to the Papers with which it is already rather wearied than satisfied, consists of many Parts; some of which it has in common with other periodical Sheets, and some peculiar to itself.
The firit Demand made by the Reader of a Jour. nal is, that he should find an accurate Account of foreign Transactions and domestic Incidents. This is always expected, but this is very rarely performed. Of those Writers who have taken upon themselves the Talk of Intelligence, some have given and others have sold their Abilities, whether smail or great, to one or other of the Parties that divide us ; and without a Wish for Truth or Thought of Decency, without Care of any other Reputation than that of a stubborn Adherence to their Abettors, carry on the same Tenor' of Representation through all the Vicissitudes of Right and Wrong, neither depressed by Detection, nor abashed by Confutation, proud of the hourly Increase of Infamy, and ready to boaft of all the Contumelies that Falsehood and Slander may bring upon them, as new Proofs of their Zeal and Fidelity.
With these Heroes we have no Ambition to be numbered, we leave to the Confessors of Faction the Merit of their Sufferings, and are desirous to fhelter ourselves under the Protection of Truth. That all our Facts will be authentic, or all our Remarks just, we dare not venture to promise: We can relate but what we hear, we can point out but what we see. Of remote Transactions, the first Accounts are always confufed, and commonly exaggerated ; and in domestic Affairs, if the Power to conceal is Jess, the Interest to misrepresent is often greater ; and what is sufficiently vexatious, Truth seems to