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work in its future progress; and in prosecuting their task, the editors confidently anticipate the co-operation of the wise and good. They dedicate it more especially to the rising generation in families professedly religious, with a view of forming their intellectual tastes and moral habits; for they are persuaded that there is no necessary connexion between ignorance and devotion, between mental degradation and elevated piety; they feel assured that the attempt, when judiciously aud perseveringly made, to unite the refinements of intellectual culture with the pure elements of revealed religion, is neither Utopian nor fallacious.
OF LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND RELIGION.
"THEMISTOCLES, when an ambassador in a set speech had boasted great matters of a small village, takes him up thus; Friend, your words would require a City." So anxious are the Editors of Ward's Miscellany to avoid the charge of uttering a prospectus which would require a Cyclopædia, that they could be content with referring the reader to the prospectuses of preceding periodicals, and simply adding, "all that they have said, we will do."
But this, of course, their modesty forbids; besides which, they deem it incumbent on every party commencing a periodical, to show, first, that such a publication is wanting; and, secondly, that the one proposed will infallibly supply the want.
As to the former of these duties, the merest tyro in literature is aware that where there is a disposition to publish, to prove the need of the publication is the easiest part of the task. The word desideratum appears to have been sent into the world expressly for such occasions, and the author is grateful for it accordingly. He feels that proof of the desirableness of his project is superfluous, and takes it for granted that every one will intuitively perceive it, and instantly acknowledge it. Should he, however, condescend to prove its necessity, the proof is so conclusive, that one only wonders at the folly of the world in not calling for his publication before: the want is felt to be so crying, that one is constrained to be thankful that society has held together so long without his desideratum; and fearful, like persons awaiting the arrival of a doctor in a case of life and death, lest the social system should dissolve before the expected help arrives.
Now, although the Projectors of the present publication indulge the hope that the British nation might possibly hold out a few years longer even without the aid they proffer, still they would not incur the fearful responsibility of allowing this question to remain doubtful even another moment.
The ground which they propose to occupy is virgin soil. They have not to give any of their fellow-labourers "warning to quit;" or, like the candidate for sovereignty in certain barbarous states in South America, to prove their qualifications for the throne by butchering the present occupant; nor, like oriental despots, do they deem it impossible to reign, unless the first act of their sovereignty be to massacre all their brethren. Far more congenial with their taste would it be to dwell on the distinguishing excellencies of contemporary periodicals, (and they [No. 1. JAN. 4, 1837.-2d.] VOL. I.
are not a few,) which are running a useful career, and enjoying a merited reputation;—to expatiate on the philosophy which enriches one-the spirit of nature which breathes through another-the useful information which distinguishes a thirdthe amusing character of a fourth-and the religious tone which pervades a fifth. But it is more accordant with their present duty to state, that it will be their aim to unite all these characteristic excellencies; and to add to them a sixth, of which the reader has at present no more conception than he has of a sixth sense, an excellency which must be exemplified in order to be understood.
Now they confidently appeal to the reader that no such Periodical exists; and they ask him frankly whether he would not like to read such an one-one which shall create an appetite for all the others, and yet render them all unnecessary-which shall constitute the ne plus ultra, the Hercules' pillars of periodical literature-which shall disprove the Nihil novi super terram— which, if Plutarch were super terram to write lives of periodicals by parallels, as he has of men, would compel him to throw down his pen in despair, acknowledging that "none but itself can be its parallel," which shall make the reign of William the Fourth as celebrated as the Augustan or Elizabethan age, and constrain the present generation to be grateful that their lot is cast amidst the light of its pages.
Having thus satisfactorily demonstrated that a new periodical is wanted, it only remains for us to show that the one projected will certainly supply that want. This might be done by simply enumerating the names of the writers embarked in it, and with whom it has originated. But, as these must remain sacred to secrecy, nothing is left us but to specify some of its peculiar merits. Let the reader recall to mind all the school prospectuses which ever passed through his hands,-promising the fond parent to make Solomons of all his sons, and Graces of all his daughters,―the Miscellany will aim, if not to afford the rising race an excellent "education in all its branches," to create a thirst for knowledge where, as yet, it is not felt, and to gratify that appetite where it exists already. Let him remember all the advertisements and prospectuses of rail-road speculations, which of late have passed under his eye-so many, that had they been as rife in the early days of phrenology, Gall would doubtless have found an organ of railroadiveness in the universal human cranium-the
Miscellany proposes to be a rail-road in the march of intellect, facilitating mental intercourse, uniting ease and safety, annihilating party distance, and, if not directly increasing the "filthy lucre" of those availing themselves of it, at least teaching them how to employ what they possess already. Let him think of that most interesting class of prospectuses, so provocative to appetite, vulgarly denominated bills of fare-and what document has he ever devoured with greater zest? the Miscellany proposes to set before him a sumptuous repast of nutritious aliment, "including all the delicacies of the season," and never disappointing his hungry expectation with a " Not ready, Sir." Let him think of all the addresses "to the Afflicted and Distressed," and of all the "Balsams," "Heal-Alls," and "Universal Medicines," which have come under his notice,— the Miscellany is a gentle Alterative-warranted Antibilious-a certain specific against drowsiness, languor, and depression of spirits. But, saith Bacon, "it were too long to go over the particular remedies which learning"-which, being interpreted, means the Miscellany-"doth minister to all the diseases of the mind, sometimes opening the obstructions, sometimes helping digestion, sometimes increasing appetite, sometimes healing the wounds and exulcerations thereof, and the like; and to conclude with that which hath rationem totius, which is, that it disposeth the constitution of the mind not to be fixed or settled in the defects thereof, but still to be capable and susceptible of growth and reformation." And as this medicine is prepared solely from the most innocent yet effective articles in the whole Intelligentia Medica, (not containing a grain of error,) it may be taken with perfect safety by persons of all ages, and in every climate. And, finally, let him tax his memory for all the literary prospectuses, and "conditions of publication," which he has read, and which have promised to melt down the world, and re-coin it anew, stamped with their respective sovereign impresses the Miscellany diffidently proposes to realize all the pleasing visions which these literary frauds have ever excited. By uniting all that is new in science, useful in art, instructive in education, important in morals and manners, sublime and pathetic in poetry, amusing in original anecdotes, narratives, and miscellaneous subjects, interesting in literature, and divine in religion-by rendering its gravest discussions attractive, and its lightest articles subservient to the illustration of great principles-by combining veritas, bonitas, et suavitas-and by making it so cheap that poverty can purchase it, so portable that childhood can hold it, so respectable that opulence shall be proud of it, so clear and simple that ignorance shall understand it, and so comprehensive and copious of information, that it shall constitute in itself an independent and sufficient library-by doing all this, the Miscellany
proposes to place its readers not only abreast, but considerably in advance of the well-informed portions of society, to purify and improve the public taste, to raise the tone of the national character; in short, to hasten the return of the golden age.
The Editors feel that the undertaking is great, and every way worthy to rank among the wonders of the nineteenth century. But nil desperandum: "till a matter be done, men wonder that it can be done; and, as soon as it is done, wonder again that it was not sooner done; as we see in the expedition of Alexander into Asia; and the same happened to Columbus in the western navigation ;" and the same, doubtless, will happen to them. On this account, far more congenial would it have been to the Editors could they have introduced the Miscellany to the public, as the gods were accustomed to descend among mortals, in aurâ leni, without noise or commotion. But fearful of the shock which its unheralded appearance might occasion to the "gentle public," and desirous to act towards their rivals in the magnanimous spirit of Alexander on the plains of Arbela, they "would not steal a victory," but thus announce their coming-desire a fair field, and no favour.
And let no one weep, like the ancient Thracians and modern Malthusians at the birth of a child, that another book is born into the world; for, saith a great authority, when speaking of the redundance of books, "this surcharge is not to be remedied by making no more books, but by making more good books, which, as the serpent of Moses, night devour the serpents of the enchanters." That the Miscellany will have this effect, its Editors have no question-their only concern relates to the future support of those whose books are to be devoured. They would remind them, however, that if their individual welfare is sacrificed, it is to the general good-exhort them to be resigned-and promise that, for their sakes, they will treble their subscriptions to the Literary Fund. From the preceding statements, the reader will perceive the high opinion which the Editors entertain of prospectuses generally, as well as their determination not to be outdone in any department which may properly fall within their province, and he will also have the goodness to believe that they promise every thing, simply that they may consider themselves pledged to nothing.
Now, after this frank and friendly introduction to the reader, the Editors only deem it necessary to add, in sober sincerity, that it will be their aim to produce a Weekly Miscellany which shall possess characteristic excellencies distinguishing it from all its contemporaries, and that its pages will be consecrated to the highest and the holiest purposes. But in order to estimate its peculiar merits, they respectfully invite the reader to await its actual appearance.
RETROSPECT IN PROSPECTU.
"How like you our Prospectus ?" "Not at all," say a certain demure class, who, lacking wit, imagine themselves profoundly wise. "A Prospectus of what? It is too long to be a joke, and yet too absurd to be the prelude to any thing serious; it must be a hoax." "Not so, most grave and reverend Signiors; this number is a substantial proof that it is, bonâ fide, a veritable Prospectus." "I cannot understand its drift, nor the object of the writer," says a worthy bibliopolist in the Row, by no means a conjurer; “it sets all customary rules at defiance; it has no definite points to enable the trade to form the slightest conception of the nature of the publication it announces ; we know it is "Ward's Miscellany," and that is all." And enough, Mr. Malapert; is not a Miscellany a Miscellany? and WARD'S Miscellany! He that does not see a meaning and a mystery in this, can understand neither rhyme nor reason." Ah!" groans the Rev. Pelagius Sleekhair, "its levity is my abomination." Yes," rejoins the Rev. HyperCalvin Frybabe, who lives in the garret of the house of which the worthy Pelagius occupies the ground floor, on all other subjects I differ from you toto cælo, but on this we are agreed,—we must encourage no laughing philosophers; if we do not effectually root out the gaité de cœur among our young people, and assiduously preserve them from its contamination, our churches will dwindle into nothing; there will be no generation to come after." "I am a religious conservative," says a Simon Pure-looking personage in black," and your Prospectus-which, by the bye, is a strange misnomer-is too flippant, and too satirical to please my taste. I proscribe every literary effort that presumes to infringe upon the long-established order which unites dulness with piety. A Christian has no right to be facetious; above all, he must abnegate ironical pleasantry; nor is it for him to shoot folly as it flies. Your Prospectus, gentlemen, is not a Sermon." "We acknowledge it with all humility. We leave sermons to the preachers. Ours is a Miscellany; yet grave Sir, it is possible, in our endeavours to amuse and to instruct those who are willing to be pleased and ready to learn, that we may find
who would confine his reading exclusively to the Holy Scriptures. We contend that there is not a particle of levity in the paper which has drawn so harsh a judgment from the Sleekhairs and the Frybabes of this generation; and we tell them that we regard religion with so high a reverence, that we even respect the prejudices of its injudicious advocates. Acknowledging this, we likewise add, that we must not, in deference to human weakness, consent to make religion a scarecrow. This sacred, though perhaps, an invisible element, as we have hinted, shall qualify our lightest articles; and its presence we will confess as Christians do, when in social life they indulge in the innocent pleasantries of their most unrestrained intercourse. We aim to be the companions of the breakfast-table, and an evening guest in those family circles where devotion hallows every domestic enjoyment; where religion presides, and fills the throne of cheerful and happy hearts. Neither is our philosophy nor our religion cynical. We know how to be grave and to be gay-meaning by gaiety what the wise man intended when he said, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." We are not strangers to deep-felt emotion, and we have our seasons of melancholy; but we know how to charm away the evil spirit and we are taught by a philosophy not learned in the schools, that true wisdom breathes of consolation, and hope, and joy, but never of sadness, sourness, and cold misanthropy. The anxieties of doubt have sometimes knit the brow of thought almost into an expression of agonybut we have also been gladdened by the Eureka of discovery. We have now attained, in reference to the most momentous subject that can agitate the human mind, "the soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy;" and on whatever theme we touch, we do it with buoyancy, and under the influence of pleasurable emotions derived from the highest source, which we are not disposed either to disguise or repress. The elegant pursuits of literature have refined our sense of the delicate and the beautiful, and the solid satisfactions of religion are the balm of our spirits. Messrs. Sleekhair and Frybabe, we bid you a very good even; may your dreams be as antibilious as your waking thoughts and feelings are sombre and acrimonious.
"I guess," says brother Jonathan, whose answer to our modest inquiry has just been wafted to us across the Atlantic, "that your Prospectus means more than meets the eye; it looks very like a sly attack on all your predecessors and contemporaries, while it but ill conceals your own egregious vanity. You abjure, indeed, all pretension in words, yet, though you directly promise nothing, do you not insinuate that you intend to do every thing? Is not your arrogance prodigious?"-PRODIGIOUS!
"Sermons in stones, tongues in trees, Books in the running brooks, and good in every thing." The religious spirit, we trust, will purify our thoughts, chasten our feelings, and guide our pens. Science, arts, and letters are the handmaids of religion. The wisest philosopher is he who deems the book of God the best; but he is
a very mistaken Christian who would deprive religion of these her charmed attendants; and
This is the same personage introduced to our notice in "THE DOCTOR," who has mistaken his christian or his given name, which is Hyper not Philo-Calvin,
Do you expect that a work so introduced will ever succeed?" is the inquiry of many who, in their affectionate good-will, earnestly desire that it may not. But ecce signum! Have we not great capabilities? And, should we failhow many glorious attempts have perished in embryo? But we are already born into the world-look at our infant smiles, and you will not find it in your hearts willingly to let us die.
"It is mirthful," replies one of the million who have made up their minds to be our purchasers and patrons," and it does me good; in a playful mood, and by a flowry path, it aims to allure us in good humour, and with a gentle spirit, into an intimate companionship with its forthcoming lucubrations." Thank you, dear reader; for you these pages are written, and they will not fail to impart to you both pleasure and instruction; with you we could hold converse from "Morn to noon,
From noon to dewy eve,
A summer's day."
And you will find, as we proceed, that we have
stands in the Prospectus, will be strictly adhered to; or that each number will contain them all ; or that we mean to be profound, in the heavy sense of the term, on any. This we leave to the mystifiers and the metaphysicians. We know there are things in heaven and earth that our philosophy has not dreamed of; but we shall fix no bounds to our inquiries. Science, as applied to art, and art as sustaining science-discoveries when they are made, and improvements as the y advance, will find adequate notices in our page : ; and the treasures of literature-of the olden times, and of the passing hour-all that exalts sentiment and refines taste; whatever gives ardour to virtue, and confidence to truth, we shall produce for the benefit of that portion of the public that may feel interested in our labours, and willing to encourage them.
The devout and the wise of all churches and sects those who, under whatever forms and distinctions, are sincerely anxious for the defence, the diffusion, and the influence of pure, practical Christianity, as embraced by Protestants of all persuasions, who regard the person of the Saviour as Divine, his death as a sacrifice, his life as an example, the Scriptures as his word, and the Holy Spirit as his witness and their interpreter, will do well to promote the circulation of a periodical, whose great object shall ever be to enrich and elevate, with all useful knowledge, those minds which are already imbued with that infinitely high and transcendental science-"The science which makes wise unto salvation."
It matters not where that concentration of all sweet remembrances called home" is fixed ; the mind is spell-bound by the thought. It may be in the midst of Afric's burning sands, or amongst the ices of the pole; it may be in the haunts of barbarism, or the refinements of civilization; it may be in the crowded city, or rustic village; on the mountain's top, or in the lowly vale; still it is home-the best of fancy's images, the richest of reality's enjoyments. Nothing, in fact, is more wonderful or cheering to contemplate, than the total independence of this one great possession of every other, and of all external circumstances. For, to render it happy, it need not be invested with dignity, or encompassed by magnificence. It may be the retreat of poverty itself, and yet be capable of ministering to some of the noblest pleasures of the mind; and its untutored, unadorned, and unknown in
No term in language is so replete with delightful associations as the word "home;" the sound of it touches a vibrating chord in every human bosom; and he whose pulsation is not quickened by it, must have sunk into the last degree of moral insensibility. Whether we think of the spot, enshrined in memory's most hallowed recesses, where we drew the first breath of existence, or of the dwelling-place of maturer years, in the centre of a wide-spread scene of various relationships, occupations, and influences;-the home of infancy and of manhood is ever dear; and dearer still, perhaps, the home of age. Is there any heart that needs to be impressed, or any understanding that requires to have the sentiment inculcated and enforced, that there is a charm in the words "parent," "father," "mother," "brother," "sister," "husband," 66 'wife," and "child?" Surely there is none. Even instinct here is stronger and more perfect than philoso-mates will not fail to produce affecting and enphy; it is, besides, more universal, and operates as a settled law of the moral universe. To it are to be referred many of the purest sentiments and passions of which our nature is susceptible; and from it are derived some of its choicest sensibilities.
dearing emotions, which flow through the whole extensive circle of consanguinity and friendship. Nor does it signify whither we ourselves may have wandered; for still the same beloved image presents itself, with its associate ideas, to banish distance in separation, to create company in soli