صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

cultivate our understandings, and exalt our virWe need but make the experiment to find, that the greateft pleafures will arife from fuch ⚫ endeavours.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Toil and wearinefs are the effects of vanity: when a man has formed a defign of excelling others in merit, he is difquieted by their ad<vances, and leaves nothing unattempted, that he may step before them: this occafions a thousand < unreasonable emotions, which juftly bring their punishment along with them.

C

[ocr errors]

But let a man ftudy and labour to cultivate and improve his abilities in the eye of his Maker, ⚫ and with the profpect of his approbation; let him attentively reflect on the infinite value of that approbation, and the highest encomiums that men can bestow will vanifh into nothing at the comparison. When we live in this manner, we find that we live for a great and glorious end.

When this is our frame of mind, we find it no longer difficult to reftrain ourfelves in the gratifications of eating and drinking, the moft grofs enjoyments of sense. We take what is necessary to preferve health and vigour, but are not to give ourselves up to pleafures that weaken the attention, and dull the understanding.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

It is trifling to allege, in oppofition to this truth, that knowledge cannot be acquired, nor virtue purfued, without toil and efforts, and that all efforts produce fatigue. God requires nothing disproportioned to the powers he has given, and in the exercife of those powers confifts the highest fatisfaction.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And

And the true fenfe of Mr. Pope's affertion, that Whatever is, is right, and I believe the fense in which it was written, is thus explained :- A facred ⚫ and adorable order is established in the govern<ment of mankind. These are certain and un• varied truths: he that feeks God, and makes it his happiness to live in obedience to him, fhall obtain what he endeavours after, in a degree far above his prefent comprehenfion. He that turns his back upon his Creator, neglects to obey him, and perfeveres in his difobedience, fhall obtain no other happinefs than he can receive from enjoyments of his own procuring; void of fatisfaction, weary of life, wafted by empty cares, and remorfes equally haraffing and juft, he will experience the certain confequences of his own choice. Thus will juftice and goodness resume their empire, and that order be reftored which 'men have broken.'

<

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I am afraid of wearying you or your readers with more quotations, but if you fhall inform me that a continuation of my correfpondence will be well received, I fhall defcend to particular paffages, fhew how Mr. Pope gave fometimes occafion to mistakes, and how Mr. Croufaz was mifled by his fufpicion of the fyftem of fatality.

I am, SIR, your's, &c.

1

PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE

TO THE

LONDON CHRONICLE,

JANUARY 1, 1757.

T has always been lamented, that of the little

to man, much must be spent upon

fuperfluities. Every profpect has its obftructions, which we must break to enlarge our view: every step of our progrefs finds impediments, which, however eager to go forward, we must stop to remove. Even those who profefs to teach the way to happinefs, have multiplied our incumbrances, and the author of almoft every book retards his inftructions by a preface.

The writers of the Chronicle hope to be eafily forgiven, though they fhould not be free from an infection that has feized the whole fraternity, and instead of falling immediately to their fubjects, fhould detain the Reader for a time with an account of the importance of their defign, the extent of their plan, and the accuracy of the method which they intend to profecute. Such premonitions, though not always neceffary when the Reader has the book complete in his hand, and may find by his VOL. IX. B b

own

own eyes whatever can be found in it, yet may be more easily allowed to works published gradually in fucceffive parts, of which the fcheme can only be fo far known as the author fhall think fit to discover it.

The Paper which we now invite the Publick to add to the Papers with which it is already rather wearied than fatisfied, confits of many parts; fome of which it has in common with other periodical fheets, and fome peculiar to itself.

The first demand made by the reader of a journal is, that he should find an accurate account of foreign tranfactions and domeftic incidents. This is always expected, but this is very rarely performed. Of thole writers who have taken upon themfelves the tafk of intelligence, fome have given and others have fold their abilities, whether finall 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 fame tenor of reprefentation through all the viciffitudes of right and wrong, neither depreffed by detection, nor abafhed by confutation, proud of the hourly increase of infamy, and ready to boast of all the contumelies that falfehood and flander may bring upon them, as new proofs of their zeal and fidelity.

With thefe heroes we have no ambition to be numbered, we leave to the confeffors of faction the merit of their fufferings, and are defirous to elter ourselves under the protection of truth. at all our facts will be authentick, or all our rearks jut, we dare not venture to promife: we can rate but what we hear, we can point out but what

we

[ocr errors]

we fee. Of remote tranfactions, the first accounts are always confufed, and commonly exaggerated: and in domestick affairs, if the power to conceal is lefs, the intereft to mifreprefent is often greater; and what is sufficiently vexatious, truth feems to fly from curiofity, and as many enquirers produce many narratives, whatever engages the publick attention is immediately difguifed by the embellishments of fiction. We pretend to no peculiar power of difentangling contradiction or denuding forgery, we have no fettled correfpondence with the Antipodes, nor maintain any spies in the cabinets of princes. But as we shall always be conscious that our mistakes are involuntary, we fhall watch the gradual difcoveries of time, and retract whatever we have haftily and erroneously advanced.

In the narratives of the daily writers every reader perceives fomewhat of neatnefs and purity wanting, which at the first view it feems eafy to fupply; but it must be confidered, that thofe paffages muft be written in hafte, and that there is often no other choice, but that they must want either novelty or accuracy; and that as life is very uniform, the affairs of one week are fo like thofe of another, that by any attempt after variety of expreffion, invention would foon be wearied, and language exhaufted. Some improvements however we hope to make; and for the reft we think that when we commit only common faults, we shall not be excluded from common indulgence.

The accounts of prices of corn and ftocks are to most of our Readers of more importance than narratives of greater found, and as exactnefs is here within the reach of diligence, our readers may juftly require it from us.

Bb 2

Memorials

« السابقةمتابعة »