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P R E FACE.
E should charge ourselves with ingratitude to the Public, did we
suffer another Voluine to close, without expressing our warmest acknowledgments for a degree of support surpassing our most sanguine expectations, and, we believe, unprecedented in the history of periodi. cal publications To have attained, within the course of three years, A SALE considerably superior to that of any other work of the same designation, and equal to that of any literary journal in this country, is such a testimony of the approbation of our Readers, as we cannot contemplate without a degree of exultation. We will venture also to observe, that considering the principles upon which our work has been conducted, those which were formerly thought characteristic of a country, which boasts of its civil and religious freedom--the success it has met with is a pleasing proof, that the cause of liberty is not in so deserted a state as some of its desponding friends have imagined; and that, whatever inay be the change in the sentiments of the higher classes, and the ignorant apathy of the lowest, the middle ranks, in whom the great mass of information, and of public and private virtue resides, are, by no means, disposed to resign the advantages of liberal discussion, and extensive enquiry. We do not, by this observation, intend to represent our work as properly a political one; but, we know, it could not be relished by those who think, that the best way of preventing the dangers of innovation, is to check all spirit of improvement, to stifle all research, and to preclude all information concerning foreign institutions which might possibly suggest unfavourable comparisons with our own. It is, on the contrary, our peculiar pride to have contributed to a more extensive acquaintance with the proceedings, civil and literary, of other countries, chan has been usually obtainable from English publications. To continue to merit a distinction of this kind, shall ever be a leading object with us. hall spare no pains to effect it; and we are happy to announce, that, by means of some new literary connexions in AMERICA, we shall poffefs peculiar advantages in presenting to our Readers, accounts of the most interesting circumstances belonging to the United States.
Though we consider the general plan of our work as now fully settled, yet we shall never be backward in making such alterations or additions as may see n to be real improvements. A monthly article of COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCE has appeared to us to be of this kind : we have lately adopted it, a id hope to be favoured with the affisance of our correspondents in supporting it. We consider as another important improvement, the enlargement of our Retrospect of British Literature, and its extension on the fame plan, to German, Spanish, and French Literature; in a future Supplement it wil be also extended to the North of Europe, Italy, and America.
We cannot too often repeat, that the communications we most value, are those which convey new and authentic information respecting matters of fact, important to the progress of useful knowledge, and tending to ameliorate the condition of mankind. Were all that is partially known, freely thrown into the general stock by reciprocal disclosure, we are convinced that more immediate good would result, than by purfuing the most promising vein of discovery. We presume to say, that the extensive circulation of our Miscellany renders it a peculiarly fit vehicle for this purpose; and we shall take care, by an early insertion of such matter, to forward the views of our correspondents. With respect to the literary articles necessary to make a pleasing variety in a work of this kind, as we hope we have not hitherto been deficient in atteinpts to gratify our Readers, so we shall continue, with the aid of our kind contributors, to inake the best provision in our power. We ace knowledge, with gratitude, the copious fupply of papers of this kind with which we have constantly been favoured. It has made a selection necessary, which we have always impartially conducted according to our beft judginent; our only aim in this, as in other parts of our duty, being to deserve the approbation of liberal and enlightened Readers.
LONDON, Juls il, 1798.
INDEX TO THE FIFTH VOLUME.
a Tour in
498 Boulton, Mr. his Patent for raising Water 294
on Female Benefit Societies
Car tids, on the Compression of
23 Cai holicism, Verses on the Abolition of
96 Charlemont house, in Dublin an Account of 431
“ Communion of Saints,” what is meant by
Diseases in London, Account of, in January 63
-of marshy Grounds, Plan for
to Mt. Aikin
- on Coins
83 Earthen-ware, Patent for plating of 50