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SECOND VOLUME OF THE REGISTER
CANNOT send this sixth number, which completes the
second volume of the Monthly Register, Magazine, and Review of the United States,"_into the world, without offering a few observations to the notice of the public.
The arrangement of this work will in future be thus disposed.-—The series of Essays, moral, political, or literary, under the title of the Wanderer, will be continued. The moral tale, called “ Men and Women” will be conducted to its close. The Review of American Literature will be continued as before. The Section, entitled, American Communications, will be continued, with this condition, that I do not consider myself as pledged always to insert articles under that head, but shall in that respect, consult the expediency of the existing circumstances. The section Poetry will be omitted altogether; and any poetical effusions, which we shall receive, and think proper to insert, will find a place under the head of “ Communications.”—The Retrospective History will be entirely dropped ; because it is impossible to do justice to such an extensive subject in the very few pages, which can be devoted to it, once in a month. The History of the Passing Times will be continued.
The tale, called Men and Women, comprises a narrative of facts, and incidents, which have occurred in real life, and is intended to develop the springs and movements of the human heart. In order to be understood thoroughly, it must be read as a whole; and not be judged, till its intention and aim can be discovered. Those very sagacious and profound critics, who presume to decide upon its merits, merely from the perusal of the very small portion of it, which is now before the public,
are in wisdom, at least, equal to the pedant, in Hierocles, who, in order to convey to his friend a correct notion of the extent, and grandeur and utility of a magnificent mansion, pulled a single brick out of his pocket, as a specimen.
Upon the literary claims of the Register it would ill become me to speak ;-the work is open to the inspection of the public, and to all the accumulated severity of the most vigilant criticism ; it must not, however, be forgotten, that this is the only work in America, which proceeds upon the principle of giving an impartial and an independent review of American publications. The Reviewers of this country, hitherto, have, in general, so widely mistaken the universal springs of human action, as to suppose, that they could encourage the efforts of American genius, by praising every American publication: -as if genius was ever roused into action by being placed on the same level of applause with dulness ;-or, that, by any magic of commendation, a block-head could be converted into a man of sense. It were much to be desired that all, who take upon themselves the office of Reviewers, would attend to the words of Publius Syrus ;—"Judex damnatur, cum nocens absolvitur.”—The Judge is condemned, when the guilty is absolved.
For the contents of this volume I am only in part responsible ; for the contents of every succeeding volume of the Register I shall be answerable ; as my late co-adjutor, Mr. Carpenter, under whose auspices the work was first called into being, has resigned the whole publication into my hands.
I should, indeed, be dull and ungrateful, in the extreme, if I could close these remarks, without offering my most heartfelt acknowledgments to the American public, for the support which this work has experienced, from their patronage. The only return, which I can make for such kindness, is the most solemn, and unambiguous assurance, that the “ Monthly Register, Magazine, & Review of the United States,” shall always be devoted to the service of religion, pure morality, sound policy, and general literature.
JOHN BRISTED. New-York, May 1st, 1807.
INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. IT T is, now, nearly two years since the Editor first presented to
the public the Monthly Register and Review. Since the commencement of this undertaking he has been too often compelled to solicit the indulgence of his friends and patrons on account of the non-appearance of the work at the stated and promised periods.
These omissions were occasioned by a variety of causes, which the Editor could neither prevent nor controul. The chief of these were-first, the utter impossibility of his devoting so much of his time and attention to its execution, as he wished, and as was necessary to render it worthy of the public eye, on account of his being engaged in conducting a daily paper, the Charleston Courier; and, secondly, his residence in, and his publishing the work in a comparatively remote part of the union, where the mechanical operations requisite to introduce it to the world, must, unavoidably, from the nature of its climate, and the very constitution of its society, be carried on with tardiness and want of vigour, and must labour under all those manifold and various disadvantages, which, are necessarily attendant upon its distance from the centre of the nation.
It is with a joy, fully proportionate to the anxiety and the mortification, which have so often wrung his heart, so often wrenched the sinews of his soul, at being obliged to disappoint the expectations of the public, that the Editor now announces the entire removal of all causes of delay. In addition to his own exertions, restrained as those exertions must still continue to be by his constant VOL. I.
occupation in conducting a daily paper, the People's Friend, he has secured to himself the permanent, and the most cordially devoted assistance, which a combination of exalted talents, of extensive knowledge, and of unwearied industry, can give of value, and of lustre to this publication ; he has, also, taken up his abode in the city of New-York, where he may be said to stand at the confluence of the greatest number of streams of knowledge, flowing from the most distant sources, that meet at any one point of this great continent.
The arrangement of the work will, in future, assume the following form. Each number will comprize seven distinct heads or divisions. First, An original Essay upon some subject, religious, moral, literary, or economic. Secondly, A moral Tale, pourtraying the human character, as it really exists in the world, and developing the springs and movements of the human heart. Thirdly, a Review of American literature, containing remarks upon
such American publications, either originally produced in this country, or republished from European books, as the Editor shall think worthy of observation. Fourthly, Communications from correspondents, consisting of anecdotes, scarce and valuable American biography; any plan by which the honourable aggrandizement of America can be effected, by which her national strength and prosperity can be augmented; any thing by which her religious worth and her moral elevation might be increased ; any thing by which folly might be made ashamed, and vice might be browbeaten into silence and dismay. Fifthly, Poetry, either original, or so selected, as, at once, to sooth the heart, and to improve the understanding. Sixthly, The Retrospective history of America, continued from our last number. Seventhly, The record of those incidents which pass before our eyes, and which, when properly selected, make the most valuable materials, wherewith the historian may adorn the annals of his country, and from which the philosophic statesman might deduce his economic precepts of general application, and of extensive utility.
A number of this work, bearing the title of the Monthly REGISTER, MAGAZINE AND REVIEW, OF THE UNITED STATES, will, therefore
appear in the first week in every month. It will be published by E. SARGEANT, at 39 Wall-street, opposite the United States Bank, to whom all communications respecting the work are, in future, to sent.
The Editor cannot conclude this address, without declaring, that while the life beats in his bosom, the most grateful and the most,
affectionate remembrance of the kindness and the protection, which he has experienced from the American public, will mingle in each and in
every throbbing of his heart, till that heart shall cease to beat; will boil along all his veins till the flood-gates of life shall shut in eternal rest. In very truth, I should be duller than the fat weed, which rots on Lethe's wharf, if I could forget that I have been honoured and blessed, and, even now, am blessed and honoured by the protection and the friendship of men, who are qualified to confer lustre on any country under the canopy of heaven; men, filled with all those milder virtues, which draw the heart into close contact with them, and win all the best affections of the soul ; men, filled with all those high and commanding qualities, which mark them out as persons, whom, in any society, Nature has appointed to take the lead.
It is, indeed, my pride to have such men for my friends, more especially because they have often declared, that their esteem for me was founded, not only, upon my intellectual exertions for the public welfare, but also, upon my private life, during the lapse of the years which I passed under their eyes, and in frequent and intimate intercourse with them. These, my friends, and patrons in the Southern district of the Union, have regretted my leaving them; and God, alone, knows, how I regretted it too; how I regretted leaving a community, to which I shall ever look back with affection, more than I have ever borne; or, than, my mind misgives me, I ever shall bear to any other on earth. Old as I am, my sensations respecting it, resemble those, which, in the careless hours of my youth, haunted me about my own country, fair Ierne's verdant land, even Erin, the sweetest isle of the ocean, when a truant disposition led me from it into the world; when a truant disposition decoyed my steps to roam in stormy paths, remote from all congenial joy. Of certain high personages in Charleston I can, with Hamlet, truly say—I shall not look upon their like again. The pulses of my heart leap impetuously; the boundings of my burning bosom beat with a more tumultuous throb ;—but I must subdue the swelling emotions of my soul, and content myself with this solemn pledge, this unequivocal, this sacred avowal, that I will endeavour still to deserve the protection and the kindness of a generous and an enlightened people, by directing all my exertions, and all my efforts, to give ardour to virtue, and confidence to truth.
New-York, Nov. 5th, 1806.