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demerit of our articles it is not for us to speak; but in a commercial point of view the Norwich Magazine has proved a complete failure. To what may this be attributed
We are not vain enough to hug ourselves up in the conceit that our work has been faultless,-a literary periodical, unaided by a single paid contributor, and yet without a fault, would indeed be an anomaly; but we feel, that if any value attaches to the high and encouraging testimonials of approbation we have received from various quarters, or to the cordial and continued assistance of several gentlemen of established talent and reputation in the world of letters, the Norwich Magazine has never sunk so low as to justify the milk-and-water support it has received. What then, we repeat, are the causes which have combined to crush the rising spirit of inquiry, and render abortive our attempt to provide reading for all ?
The hour is past when we might shirk this question—the time has come now for speaking out. Norwich is corrupt to her core.
The demon of party, like a foul and fearful incubus, has too long heen pressing upon her community, and stunting her moral and intellectual growth. Her sons, forgetful of the great truth that “Union is Strength,” have ranged themselves in two opponent factions, whose eternal struggle has been for precedence. Her energies, instead of being directed to the promotion of great and public good, have been spent in the hungry calculations of party excitement; and her first question to the candidates for her representation in the councils of the land, has too often been, not whether they were men of impartiality and integrity, but whether they bore the badge, and were ready to fight the battles of
Against the spread of such a dark, blighting, peacecrushing spirit, the Norwich Magazine was a crusade - weak it might be-yet, we fervently hope, the pledge and herald of a mightier and more effectual effort. The political horizon, if it speak not yet of settled quiet and healthful composure, is overspread no longer
with that dead and dull calm which were a thousand times more portentous than the convulsions of the tempest. And we would read the signs of the times for good; we would welcome the dawn, dim and distant though it be, of that bright era when prejudice, and passion, and party-spirit, with their train of withering curses, shall be swept for ever from our midst. And, in the announcement of our intention to discontinue, at least for the present, the publication
of our work, thus far may we venture to affirm, that the conductors of the Norwich Magazine for 1835, will be found among the firm and unwearied supporters of any future attempt to raise the tone of mind and morals in their native city.
Norwich, December 1st, 1835.
It is a wonderful thing that, of the eight hundred and fifty millions of human faces that look up from earth to sky, no two are precisely alike. Equally wonderful though more obvious is the corresponding truth in mental physiology that no two minds are the exact counterparts of each other. The powers of every understanding, the passions of every heart -- whether natural or acquired—are, in degree, strictly peculiar; so that every man might add to the general stock of knowledge something which could be communicated by none of his fellow-men.
But all are not authors; and even of the few who possess disposition and ability to record their observations or reflections, how small a portion enjoy the time and talent required for the production of a volume, or the resources that would justify the risk of its publication.
Then there is another class—the youthful; who lack, perchance, none of the above qualifications, but whose intellect is immature, whose thoughts are buds, and whose very performance is but promise. From them voluminous composition would be ill-timed and unbecoming, while the total suppression of their “ blushful meanings" from an humble corner of the recording page would be alike unwise and unjust.
Then there are the literati by profession, the men to whom book-reading or book-writing is a business and not a relaxation. In their cultured minds arises many an isolated thought, from their practised pen flows many a stray sentiment unconnected with their longer and more laboured efforts,—too brief for a book yet too good to be lost. Now to all such persons, and for all such productions, the carte blanche of a magazine is specially
adapted ; and to those of them that may exist in our native city we respectfully recommend our own little periodical. We have alluded in our prospectus to the commercial” character of Norwich; now the absorption of thought and of time which this epithet implies would seem to intimate that those to whom it is applicable have an interest in patronizing a monthly miscellany, because its visits are, comparatively speaking,
“ Like those of angels short and far between". because the perusal of each of its articles asks for minutes not hours, and is a refreshment not a toil. It is true, too, that he who explores the world of science for pleasure more than profit, as a means of giving and taking enjoyment rather than instruction, will attain those ends by extensive not profound investigation,- by visiting, like the bee, the honey-cup of every flower, sipping all-exhausting none. Besides, is there no curiosity to see our townsmen's prowess in the arena of literature, no generous desire to help them, no praiseworthy ambition to excel them, no warm-hearted resolve to sustain the man who endeavours to exalt the local reputation by collecting and displaying the local mind? We cannot, we will not give a negative response to these queries ; but rather anticipate as constant purchasers and cordial patrons the hundreds, nay thousands of our reading population.
It is time, however, that we should unroll our bill of fare, and indicate to those kind friends who are our “gentle readers” what sort of entertainment we purpose to provide for them. In catering for our little work we are determined, as far as we can, to pay implicit deference to the prudential maxim Non abbiate nemici ; and therefore, sectarian theology and party politics will be carefully excluded. The wars of the roses were nobleness itself compared with the demoralizing and debasing wars of the ribbons; and we promise ourselves at least the satisfaction of adding no fuel to that baleful fire which has consumed so much of the social comfort and moral respectability of this fair city. By undeviatingly pursuing such a course we hope to secure instant immunity from the frown of any party, and gradual co-operation from the wise and good of all.
Having thus briefly stated two of the most important things which our pages will not contain, it remains to intimate what the