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The next reign is too well known to have been a time of confusion, and disturbance, and disputes of every kind; and the writings which were produced, bear a natural proportion to the number of questions that were discussed at that time; each party had its authors and its presses, and no endeavours were omitted to gain proselytes to every opinion. I know not whether this may not properly be called The Age of Pamphlets; for, though they, perhaps, may not arise to such multitudes as Mr. Rawlinson imagined, they were, undoubtedly, more numerous than can be conceived by any who have not had an opportunity of examining them.
Of the different methods which present themselves upon the first view of the great heaps of pamphlets which the Harleian library exhibits, the two which merit most attention are, to distribute the treatises according to their subjects, or their dates; but neither of these ways can be conveniently followed. By ranging our collection in order of time, we must necessarily publish those pieces first, which least engage the curiosity of the bulk of mankind; and our design must fall to the ground, for want of encouragement, before it can be so far advanced as to obtain general regard: by confining ourselves for any long time to any single subject, we shall reduce our readers to one class; and, as we shall lose all the grace of variety, shall disgust all those who read chiefly to be diverted. There is likewise one objection of equal force, against both these methods, that we shall preclude ourselves from the advantage of any future discoveries; and we cannot hope to assemble at once all the pamphlets which have been written in any age or on any subject.
After the Restoration, the same differences, in religious opinions, are well known to have subsisted, and the same political struggles to have been frequently renewed; and, therefore, a great number of pens were employed, on different occasions, till at length, all other disputes were absorbed in the popish controversy.
It may be added, in vindication of our intended practice, that it is the same with that of Photius, whose collections are no less miscellaneous than ours; and who declares, that he leaves it to his reader to reduce his extracts under their proper heads.
From the pamphlets which these different periods of time produced, it is proposed, that this Miscellany shall be compiled; for which it cannot be supposed that materials will be wanting; and, therefore, the only difficulty will be in what manner to dispose them.
Most of the pieces which shall be offered in this collection to the public, will be introduced by short prefaces, in which will be given some
Those who have gone before us, in under-account of the reasons for which they are intakings of this kind, have ranged the pamphlets, serted; notes will be sometimes adjoined, for which chance threw into their hands, without the explanation of obscure passages, or obsolete any regard either to the subject on which they expressions; and care will be taken to mingle treated, or the time in which they were written; use and pleasure through the whole collection. a practice in no wise to be imitated by us, who Notwithstanding every subject may not be rewant for no materials; of which we shall choose lished by every reader, yet the buyer may be those we think best for the particular circum- assured that each number will repay his genestances of times and things, and most instruct- rous subscription. ing and entertaining to the reader.
the treatises of Husbandry and Agriculture, which were published about that time, are so numerous, that it can scarcely be imagined by whom they were written, or to whom they were sold.
IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, VOL. XIIL
MR. URBAN,-It would not be found useless as in oral disputations, a moderator could be in the learned world, if in written controversies, selected, who might in some degree superintend Z z
the debate, restrain all needless excursions, repress all personal reflections, and at last recapitulate the arguments on each side; and who, though he should not assume the province of deciding the question, might at least exhibit it in its true state.
On the means recommended for the attainment of happiness, he observes, that "the abilities which our Maker has given us, and the internal and external advantages with which he has invested us, are of two very different kinds; those of one kind are bestowed in common upon us and the brute creation, but the other exalts us far above other animals. To disregard any of these gifts, would be ingratitude; but to neglect those of greater excellence, to go no farther than the gross satisfactions of sense, and the functions of mere animal life, would be a far greater crime. We are formed by our Creator capable of acquiring knowledge, and regulating our conduct by reasonable rules; it is therefore our duty to cultivate our understandings, and exalt our virtues. We need but make the experiment to find, that the greatest
Among the duties of a moderator, I have mentioned that of recalling the disputants to the subject, and cutting off the excrescences of a debate, which Mr. Crousaz will not suffer to be long unemployed, and the repression of personal invec-pleasures will arise from such endeavours. tives which have not been very carefully avoided on either part; and are less excusable, because it has not been proved, that either the poet, or his commentator, wrote with any other design than that of promoting happiness by cultivating reason and piety.
"It is trifling to allege, in opposition to this truth, that knowledge cannot be acquired, nor virtue pursued, without toil and efforts, and that all efforts produce fatigue. God requires nothing disproportioned to the powers he has given, and in the exercise of those powers consists the highest satisfaction.
This reflection arose in my mind upon the consideration of Mr. Crousaz's Commentary on the Essay on Man, and Mr. Warburton's Answer to it. The importance of the subject, the reputation and abilities of the controvertists, and perhaps the ardour with which each has endeavoured to support his cause, have made an attempt of this kind necessary for the information of the greatest number of Mr. Pope's readers.
man who refuses to listen to its voice in opposi tion to impertinent solicitations?"
Mr. Warburton has indeed so much depressed the character of his adversary, that before I consider the controversy between them, I think it necessary to exhibit some specimens of Mr. Crousaz's sentiments, by which it will probably be shown, that he is far from deserving either indignation or contempt; that his notions are just, though they are sometimes introduced without necessity; and defended when they are not opposed; and that his abilities and parts are such as may entitle him to reverence from those who think his criticisms superfluous.
In page 35th of the English translation, he exhibits an observation which every writer ought to impress upon his mind, and which may afford a sufficient apology for his commentary.
On the notion of a ruling passion he offers this remark: "Nothing so much hinders men from obtaining a complete victory over their ruling passions, as that all the advantages gained in their days of retreat, by just and sober reflections, whether struck out by their own minds, or borrowed from good books, or from the conversation of men of merit, are destroyed in a few moments by a free intercourse and acquaintance with libertines; and thus the work is always to be begun anew. A gamester resolves to leave off play, by which he finds his health impaired, his family ruined, and his passions inflamed; in this resolution he persists a few days, but soon yields to an invitation, which will give his prevailing inclination an opportunity of reviving in all its force. The case is the same with other men: but is reason to be charged with these calamities and follies, or rather the
"Toil and weariness are the effects of vanity: when a man has formed a design of excelling others in merit, he is disquieted by their advances, and leaves nothing unattempted, that he may step before them: this occasions a thousand unreasonable emotions, which justly bring their punishment along with them.
"But let a man study and labour to cultivate and improve his abilities in the eye of his Maker, and with the prospect of his approbation; let him attentively reflect on the infinite value of that approbation, and the highest encomiums that men can bestow will vanish 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 restrain ourselves in the gratifications of eating and drinking, the most gross enjoyments of sense. We take what is necessary to preserve health and vigour, but are not to give ourselves up to pleasures that weaken the attention, and dull the understanding."
And the true sense of Mr. Pope's assertion, that Whatever is, is right, and I believe the sense in which it was written, is thus explained: "A sacred and adorable order is established in the government of mankind. These are certain and unvaried truths: he that seeks God, and makes it his happiness to live in obedience to him, shall obtain what he endeavours after, in a degree far above his present comprehension. He that turns his back upon his Creator, ne
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.
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 happiness, have multiplied our encumbrances, and the author of almost every book retards his instructions by a preface.
Ir has always been lamented, that of the little cidents. This is always expected, but this is very rarely performed. Of those writers who have taken upon themselves the task of intelligence, some have given and others have sold their abilities, whether small 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 tener 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 boast of all the contumelies that falsehood and slander may bring upon them, as new proofs of their zeal and fidelity.
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 design, 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 be more easily allowed to works published gradually in successive parts, of which the scheme can only be so far known as the author shall think fit to discover it.
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 shelter 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 confused, and commonly exaggerated and in doinestic affairs, if the power to conceal is less, the interest to misrepresent is often greater; and, what is sufficiently vexatious, truth seems to fly from curiosity, and as many inquirers produce many narratives, whatever engages the public attention is immediately disguised by the embellishments of fiction. We pretend to no peculiar power of disentangling contradiction or denuding forgery, we have no settled correspondence with the
The first demand made by the reader of a journal is, that he should find an accurate account of foreign transactions and domestic in
Antipodes, nor maintain any spies in the cabinets of princes. But as we shall always be conscious that our mistakes are involuntary, we shall watch the gradual discoveries of time, and retract whatever we have hastily and erroneously advanced.
In the narratives of the daily writers every reader perceives somewhat of neatness and purity wanting, which at the first view it seems easy to supply: but it must be considered, that those passages must be written in haste, 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 so like those of another, that by any attempt after variety of expression, invention would soon be wearied, and language exhausted. Some improvements however we hope to make; and for the rest, we think that when we commit only common faults, we shall not be excluded from common indulgence.
The accounts of prices of corn and stocks are to most of our readers of more importance than narratives of greater sound: and as exactness is here within the reach of diligence, our readers may justly require it from us.
Memorials of a private and personal kind, which relate deaths, marriages, and preferments, must always be imperfect by omission, and often erroneous by misinformation; but even in these there shall not be wanted care to avoid mistakes, or to rectify them whenever they shall be found.
That part of our work, by which it is distinguished from all others, is the literary journal, or account of the labours and productions of the learned. This was for a long time among the deficiencies of English literature; but as the caprice of man is always starting from too
little to too much, we have now, amongst other disturbers of human quiet, a numerous body of reviewers and remarkers.
Every art is improved by the emulation of competitors; those who make no advances towards excellence, may stand as warnings against faults. We shall endeavour to avoid that petulance which treats with contempt whatever has hitherto been reputed sacred. We shall repress that elation of malignity, which wantons in the cruelties of criticism, and not only murders reputation, but murders it by torture. Whenever we feel ourselves ignorant, we shall at least be modest. Our intention is not to pre-occupy judgment by praise or censure, but to gratify curiosity by early intelligence, and to tell rather what our authors have attempted, than what they have performed. The titles of books are necessarily short, and therefore disclose but imperfectly the contents; they are sometimes fraudulent, and intended to raise false expectations. In our account this brevity will be extended, and these frauds, whenever they are detected, will be exposed; for though we write without intention to injure, we shall not suffer ourselves to be made parties to deceit.
If any author shall transmit a summary of his work, we shall willingly receive it; if any literary anecdote, or curious observation, shall be communicated to us, we will carefully insert it. Many facts are known and forgotten; many observations are made and suppressed; and entertainment and instruction are frequently lost, for want of a repository in which they may be conveniently preserved.
No man can modestly promise what he cannot ascertain we hope for the praise of knowledge and discernment, but we claim only that of diligence and candour.
NAVIGATION, like other arts, has been perfected by degrees. It is not easy to conceive that any age or nation was without some vessel, in which rivers might be passed by travellers, or lakes frequented by fishermen; but we have no knowledge of any ship that could endure the violence of the ocean before the ark of Noah.
THE WORLD DISPLAYED.
As the tradition of the deluge has been transmitted to almost all the nations of the earth, it
must be supposed that the memory of the means by which Noah and his family were preserved would be continued long among their descendants, and that the possibility of passing the seas could never be doubted.
What men know to be practicable, a thousand motives will incite them to try; and there is reason to believe, that from the time that the generations of the post-diluvian race spread to
the sea-shores, there were always navigators that ventured upon the sea, though, perhaps, not willingly beyond the sight of land.
Of the ancient voyages little certain is known, and it is not necessary to lay before the reader such conjectures as learned men have offered to the world. The Romans, by conquering Carthage, put a stop to great part of the trade of distant nations with one another, and because they thought only on war and conquest, as their empire increased, commerce was discouraged; till under the latter emperors, ships seem to have been of little other use than to transport soldiers. Navigation could not be carried to any great degree of certainty without the compass, which was unknown to the ancients. The wonderful quality by which a needle or small bar of steel, touched with a loadstone or magnet, and turning freely by equilibration on a point, always preserves the meridian, and directs its two ends north and south, was discovered, according to the common opinion, in 1299, by John Gola of Amalfi, a town in Italy.
From this time it is reasonable to suppose that navigation made continual, though slow, improvements, which the confusion and barbarity of the times, and the want of communication between orders of men so distant as sailors and monks, hindered from being distinctly and successively recorded.
It seems, however, that the sailors still wanted either knowledge or courage, for they continued for two centuries to creep along the coast, and considered every headland as unpassable, which ran far into the sea, and against which the waves broke with uncommon agitation.
The first who is known to have formed the design of new discoveries, or the first who had power to execute his purposes, was Don Henry the Fifth, son of John, the first king of Portugal, and Philippina, sister of Henry the Fourth of England. Don Henry having attended his father to the conquest of Ceuta, obtained by conversation with the inhabitants of the continent, some accounts of the interior kingdoms and southern coast of Africa; which, though rude and indistinct, were sufficient to raise his curiosity, and convince him, that there were countries yet unknown and worthy of discovery.
He therefore equipped some small vessels, and commanded that they should pass as far as they could along the coast of Africa which looked upon the great Atlantic ocean, the immensity of which struck the gross and unskilful navigators of these times with terror and amazement. He was not able to communicate his own ardour to his seamen, who proceeded very slowly in the new attempt; each was afraid to venture much farther than he that went before him, and ten years were spent before they had advanced beyond Cape Bajador, so called from its progression into the ocean, and the circuit by
which it must be doubled. The opposition of this promontory to the course of the sea, produced a violent current and high waves, into which they durst not venture, and which they had not yet knowledge enough to avoid by standing off from the land into the open sea.
The prince was desirous to know something of the countries that lay beyond this formidable cape, and sent two commanders, named John Gonzales Zarco, and Tristan Vaz, in 1418, to pass beyond Bajador, and survey the coast behind it. They were caught by a tempest, which drove them out into the unknown ocean, where they expected to perish by the violence of the wind, or perhaps to wander for ever in the boundless deep. At last, in the midst of their despair they found a small island, where they sheltered themselves, and which the sense of their deliverance disposed them to call Puerto Santo, or the Holy Haven.
When they returned with an account of this new island, Henry performed a public act of thanksgiving, and sent them again with seeds and cattle; and we are told by the Spanish historian, that they set two rabbits on shore, which increased so much in a few years, that they drove away the inhabitants, by destroying their corn and plants, and were suffered to enjoy the island without opposition.
In the second or third voyage to Puerto Santo (for authors do not agree which), a third captain, called Perello, was joined to the two former. As they looked round the island upon the ocean, they saw at a distance something which they took for a cloud, till they perceived that it did not change its place. They directed their course towards it, and, in 1419, discovered another island covered with trees, which they therefore called Madera, or the Isle of Wood.
Madera was given to Vaz or Zarco, who set fire to the woods, which are reported by Souza to have burnt for seven years together, and to have been wasted, till want of wood was the greatest inconveniency of the place. But green wood is not very apt to burn, and the heavy rains which fall in these countries must surely have extinguished the conflagration, were it ever so violent.
There was yet little progress made upon the southern coast, and Henry's project was treated as chimerical by many of his countrymen. At last Gilianes, in 1433, passed the dreadful cape, to which he gave the name of Bajador, and came back, to the wonder of the nation.
In two voyages more, made in the two following years, they passed forty-two leagues farther, and in the latter, two men with horses being set on shore, wandered over the country, and found nineteen men, whom, according to the savage manners of that age, they attacked; the natives having javelins, wounded one of the Portuguese, and received some wounds from them. At the