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Enough to give us ail the vapours.
Now, I'm upon that same loud reading,
To all this rabble-ranting crew,
The story, which I mean to tell,
Did meet the King, as it beseems;
P. S. From Sargeant's reading-room I write
For of New-York I'm censor morum,
Are I and Hudibras ;--for why?
DIGGORY DOGGREL, A. S. S Sargeant's Reading Room, 39 Wall-street, New-York, Feb. 23d, 1807.
RETROSPECTIVE HISTORY OF AMERICA.
E are compelled to omit this section, for the present
month; on account of the great quantity of more interesting, and important matter, which demands insertion. To the generality of mankind the events, which are daily, and hourly, passing before their eyes, must always predominate over the things that are past. Consequently, the history of the times that now are, must, and shall claim a greater portion of our attention and care, than that of the days, which have, long since, been swallowed up in the boundless bosom of the deep of Eternity ;-because we now live in more feverish, and more trying times, and, because we witness more portentous, and more awful events, than have ever shaken terribly the womb of existence, since that hour, when the Lord God Omnipotent, first called the heavens and the earth from out of silence, and of night, into being.
It shall be, therefore, our earnest endeavour to catch and to preserve the leading features of the passing hour, and so correctly to discern and to delineate the signs of the times, that the future historian of this rising country, may be enabled to present a just and an accurate portrait to his fellowmen, in that day, when all our lineaments of clay shall have been dissolved, and when the bones of our posterity shall be mouldering in the tomb.
We would, further, observe, that the spirit of literature, has been for some years past, and is now, increasing, and spreading with rapid strides over all the Union; whence the labours, and the duty, and the situation of the Reviewer, become, every day, and every hour, more arduous, more interesting, more responsible, and more important. Perhaps, the British nation owes its paramount excellence, in all literary productions, to the salutary influence of her numerous and excellent reviews, more than to any other cause.--The
same causes, under similar circumstances, uniformly, produce the same effects. America, therefore, has a right to expect, that she also, shall at no distant day, cause the voice of her genius to be heard throughout all the habitable world, with that applause and homage, which is ever due, and which is always paid, to the exertions of superior intellect.
But, in order to carry this most desirable purpose into full effect, the Reviewers of this country must never stoop to do personal suit and service to any one ;—they must never wait in the anti-chamber, either of a Mecenas, or of an Augustus ;-they must know no one, either as an acquaintance, or a friend ;-they must defend the purity and the dignity of religion ;-—they must fight the battles of true philosophy, and of sound literature ;—they must be the vigilant, the unwearied, the lofty, the unbending champions of the honour, and the virtue, and the respectability, and the domestic happiness of the softer and the better sex ;—that much-suffering, and insulted sex, all of whom the morals, and the manners, and the pursuits of the atheists, and the jacobin-spoilers of the present day, are incessantly labouring, by every artifice, and with the most unblushing audacity, to turn over, as poor, wretched, forlorn victims,—to shame, and remorse, and anguish, and tribulation, and barren sorrow, and irretrievable destitution. · Nor are the efforts of the Reviewers, alone, adequate to the execution of such an honourable undertaking. The American public must, also, conjoin their aid ;-their patronage, and their encouragement must make an effectual demand for, at least, one whole monthly review, all of whose pages might be devoted to the service of watching over and of directing the rapidly progressive march of American literature. A few, solitary pages, snatched from a publication, made up, and consisting of a farrago of such a multitude of different and irreconcilable ingredients ;-of essays, and tales, and communications, and poems, and—the quicquid agunt homines (all good in their respective stations, all fitted to promote the great cause of morality, and of letters, but, certainly, out of season, and out of place, when commingled with a critical examination of the intellectual pretensions of the