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gradually in successive Parts, of which the Scheme can only be fo 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 first Demand made by the Reader of a Journal 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 themfelves the Talk of Intelligence, fome have given and others have sold their Abilities, whether small or great, to one or other of the Parties that divide us; and with.
without Care of any other Reputation than that of á stubborn Adherence to their Abettors, carry on the fame Tenor of Representation through all the Viciffitudes of Right and Wrong, neither depressed by Detection, nor abashed by Confutation, proud of the hourly Increafe 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. * With thefe Heroes we have no Ambition to be tumbered, we leave to the Confeffors 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 fee. Of remote Transactions, the first Accounts are always confused, and commonly exaggerated ; and in domestic Affairs, if the Power to conceal is less, the Interest to misrepresent is often greater ; and what is sufficiently vexatious, Truth seems to
Of Times we maconscious
fly from Curiosity, and as many Enquirers 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 Correfpondence with the Antipodes, nor maintain any Spies in the Cabinets of Princès. But as we shall always be conscious that our Mistakes are involuntary, we shall watch the gradual Discoveries of Time, and retract what we, have haftily and erroneously advanced.
In the Narratives of the daily Writers every Reader perceives somewhat of Neatness and Purity want. ing, which at the first View it feems easy to supply; but it must be considered, that those Passages must 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 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 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 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 juftly require it from us.
Memorials of a private and perfonal Kind, which relate Deaths, Marriages, and Preferments, must always be imperfect by Omission, and often erroneous by Misinformation ; but even in these there fhall not be wanting Care to avoid Mistakes, or to rectify them whenever they shall be found. .
That Part of our Work, by which it is diftinguished from all others, is the literary Journal, or
Account 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 fhall endeavour to avoid that Petu, Jance 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 Jeast 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 Authours have attempted, than what they have performed. The Titles of Books are necessarily Thort, 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 thall not fuffer ourselves to be made Parties to De ceit.
If any Authour shall transmit a Summary of his Work, we shall willingly receive it ; if any literary Anecdote, or curious Observation shall be commupicated to us, we shall carefully insert it. Many Facts are known and forgotten, many Observations are made and suppressed; and Entertainment and Instruction are frequently loft, for want of a Re
pository 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.
Proceedings of the Committee appointed to
manage the Contributions begun at London, Dec. 18, 1758, for Cloathing French Prisoners of War.
THE Committee intrusted with the Money con
tributed to the Relief of the Subjects of France, now Prisoners in the British Dominions, here lay before the Public an exact Account of all the Sums received and expended, that the Donors may judge how properly their Benefactions have been applied.
Charity would lose its Name, were it influenced by so mean a Motive as human Praise : It is therefore not intended to celebrate by any particular Memorial, the Liberality of single Persons, or distinct Societies ; it is sufficient that their Works praise them.
Yet he who is far from seeking Honour, may very justly obviate Censure. If a good Example has been set, it may lose its Influence by Misrepresentation; and to free Charity from Reproach, is itself a charitable Action.
Against the Relief of the French only one Argu. ment has been brought ; but that one is so popular and specious, that if it were to remain unexamined, it would by many be thought irrefragable. It has been urged that Charity, like other Virtues, may be improperly and unseasonably exerted; that while we are relieving Frenchmen, there remain many Englishmen unrelieved ; that while we lavish Pity on our Enemies, we forget the Misery of our Friends.