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THE

BRITISH CRITIC,

FOR

L LY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER,

NOVEMBER, DECEMBER,

MDCCCIX.

Νομίζω δίκαιον είναι τους άντας τη αληθεία επιεικείς, και πράττοντας
ταύτα, τυγχάνειν δύξης της προσηκούσης.

PLATO,

VOLUME XXXIV.

London:

PRINTED FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON,

NO. 62, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD.

1810.

Printed log Law and Gilbert, St. John's Square, Clerken ut:ll.

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P R E F A CE.

We now address our Friends for the thirty-fourth

time, and we do it with the same feeling that we had at first: with an earnest desire to conciliate, but still more to deserve their approbation; and a firm determination to bring forward nothing but what may tend to the belt purposes ;-to diffuse good, and refift bad principles; and, in subordination to those objects, to correct imperfect and instill good taste.

This period of seventeen years has produced great Revolutions. We were threatened with one at home, at the commencement of our labours, from the fraternization of congenial spirits, with the amiable revolutionists of France; but by the energy of wise, and the cimely cooperation of good men, under the blessing of Providence, it was happily prevented; and we crust that similar resources will always re inain, howe ever appearances may threaten, to save a country and a conftitution so eminently worth preserving,

Within the same period, many changes, if they cannot be called revolutions, have happened in the literary world. We have seen the deach of fome Reviews *, and the birth of others; some of which

• The Englip and the Analytical. The Critical died, we be. Jicve, for a short time, but nevived again,

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seem likely enough to follow their predecessors. In a few inítances we ourselves have had to regret the loss of able and even illustrious coadjutors; particularly in the instance of that ornament of his time, the bold, original, and profoundly learned Bishop HORSLEY ; the acute and singular, but always truly Christian John WHITAKER ; and most recently, the modest, and sagacious investigator of Nature, Tiberius Cavallo. These lofles which are those of the nation as well as our own, we cannot cease to deplore; yet we could now produce a lift, were not fecrecy our duty to the living, which would show that we still depend not on the exertions of a few, nor those inconliderable individuals. Since also our cause is connected, as closely as at the first, with that of sound Religion, good learning, and constitutional politics, we feel confident that we shall still be able continually to attract to us those persons, of distinguished knowledge and abilities, who think with us that, in times of luch difficulty, every thing must depend, under Providence, upon the active exertions, in every poffible way, of all who feel attached to our excellent constitution in Church and State. Its enemies are unceasingly at work, under every ostensible form, and every secret disguise ; if then its friends become remiss, they make themselves little better than the allies of the assailants. A spirited and timely affoci. ation * once completely baMed those enemies, but țime seems to be repairing their strength; and though we may not yet be called

called upon for public association, to preserve our rights, liberty, and property from the attacks of Republicans and Levellers, we are at least imperiously required to renew the efforts of the pen, and to stand like men upon the watch, for fomething new which may exercise their courage or their wisdom.

* In the memorable autumn of 1792, about six months before the British Critic arose, on the foundation of the faine principles, and to serve the fame cause.

Into the forms of critical publications, changes have also been introduced; but we have determined to adhere to that which we at first took up. When we began to write, what the public expected from Reviewers, and they in general undertook to give, was, as near as might be, a general view of the publications of the time ; expatiating moderately on works of some importance, and dismissing, in a brief form of decision, those which leemed to require no more particular notice : but omitting designedly few, if any, of the productions of the press; though compelled perhaps by their number to lag a little behind, and to make, in the end, a list rather less perfect than might be wished. Long since that time, the public has been so irresistibly attracted by the very great abilities displayed in one or two works, which professedly notice only a few publications, selected from the general nafs, and made the subject rather of original differtations than of critical reports, that the old method has become a little less falhionable. Such works. we are far from denying, when written with ability and truth, deserve to fell as books; but they are not, in our apprehension, Reviews. More than fifty fuch publications, could not give that view of the general state of Letters, which was comprised in an old fashioned Review; and if those fifty were to exist, what affiduity of reading could ever exhaust their contents ?

Anocher difference has arisen. The works above allyded to were, for the most part, acute and powerful pleadings against the authors reviewed; often supported by irresistible powers of ridicule. The public delighted with the wit, and we fear also with the severity, triumphed withoạt mercy over the poor authors who were thus facrificed to their entertainment, and began to lose their relish for criticism less highly seasoned. But in the name of humanity, must not justice be done, because the public has acquired a A 3

taste

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