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1715; the Freethinker, 1718; the Plain Dealer, 1724: the Universal Spectator, 1728; Memoirs of the Society of Grub-street, 1730; Fog's Journal, 1782; Common Sense, 1787; the Champion, 1739; the Female Spectator, 1744; the Parrot, 1746; the Student, 1750; the Inspector, 1751; the Covent-Garden Journal, 1752; the Grays-Inn-Journal, 1752; the Old Maid, 1755; the Prater, 1756, and the Visitor, 1760.*
To the task of selection, it became necessary, for the interest of the work, to add that of arrangement; for, had the papers followed each other merely in the order of time, a want of pleasing and perspicuous distribution, with regard to the nature of the subjects chosen, would have been inevitably felt. I have, therefore, intermingled the grave
the didactic and the narrative, in such a manner, as, I flatter myself, will sufficiently arrest and relieve the attention of the reader, and, at the same time, harmonize with the best models of periodical composition.
That the Gleaner might possess all the advantages which are now annexed to the best editions
and the gay,
* For characters of these papers, and, indeed, of every other which has been written for a century back, I must refer my reader to the Essays on Periodical Literature, lately published in five yols, foolscap 8vo.
of our Classical Essayists, I have given translations of all the mottoes, and added tables of contents and indices. For the sake of uniformity, also, I have prefixed mottoes to those pa.
pers which originally did not exhibit such an ornament; and I have, likewise, occasionally substituted a new motto, where the old one appeared to me not sufficiently pleasing or apposite.
As the essays united in these volumes are, for the sake of exciting universal interest, of a nature as general as possible, the necessity for notes has, consequently, not been frequent ; these are, therefore, rather critical, than explanatory; or so far illustrative, as parallel passages, or subsequent discoveries and narratives, might furnish materials. It may be observed, that the number or page of the original work, which has been selected, is carefully noted at the close of each paper of the collection.
Not only has strict attention been paid to avoid any thing which might militate, in the smallest degree, against the great truths of religion and morality; but care has also been taken, that nothing should appear which could offend the most delicate mind, and that the whole should subserve the best interests of virtue.
To conclude: it is my wish, that the Gleaner
- should form a valuable accompaniment to the Classical Essayists ; to which, I trust, it will establish a claim, by condensing into a convenient compass, and with a suitable arrangement, the best essays of the best periodical papers which, independent of the standard works already mentioned, have been published in this country to the year 1797.*
Hadleigh, Suffolk, Dec. 1810.
* The Works from which the Essays, forming the Third and Fourth Volumes of the Gleaner, are taken, will be found enumerated in an Advertisement prefixed to Volume the Third.
IV. Florella, a fairy tale ...,
XXII. The same concluded