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PREFACE

TO THE

SECOND EDITION.

Amongst all the productions of human labor, none are more subject to failure, because none are more numerous, than those of a Literary nature. Nevertheless, it is with satisfaction rather than surprise, that we have at the Eighth number of the PAMPHLETEER to announce a SECOND EDI.

TION of that work.

An expectation of novelty, a desire for more extensive information, a wish to promote what is useful, or other less striking and less laudable motive may prompt the inquisitive, the scientific, the liberal, and the indifferent, to give a temporary countenance to the endless profusion of periodical publications that are daily issuing from the press ; but the smiles with which these are greeted are not so much those of approbation as of encouragement, and it is by its own inherent qualities that each, eventually, must either stand or fall.

1

The PAMPHLETEER, being completely original as to its plan, we were well aware might meet with many of those obstacles invariably opposed by the very inertion of prejudice to new designs; but we were equally convinced that, should those be once counteracted, its ultimate success would be great and certain. The work was professedly founded on the broad basis of public utility: the truth of this, the public have been eager duly to appreciate, and it would be an anomaly to suppose it should not, at the same time have enjoyed their

BLISHED.

liberal support. Their condemnation of it now, we have hardly to fear, since by their co-operation, either voluntary or solicited, it HAS BEEN ESTA

Nor is this circumstance one of an ordinary or unimportant nature. It proves a moral proposition of magnitude, which has hitherto either been thought chimerical, or has been totally disbelieved : namely, that men will take pleasure in dispassionately investigating opinions at variance with their own. Such, however, has been the magnanimity of those who have contributed to the PAMPHLETEER, and encouraged it with their patronage.

February, 1815.

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PREFACE.

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To those, who concern themselves in the advancement of knowledge, and in the general success of literary merit, it cannot but be a matter of much regret to observe how great a proportion of that mass of information which is constantly issuing from the press, upon every topic of discussion, is consigned to undeserved oblivion by the mere vicissitude of daily occurrences. No sooner has any great political, or moral, or scientific question elicited from the collision of conflicting sentiments innumerable sparks of light branching out in all directions, and illustrating the subject in every possible point of view, than another argument of equal importance arrests in its turn the public attention, and the many bright and valuable hints struck out in the course of its predecessor are disregarded ; and, like meteors rather than stars, they cease to exist the moment they cease to shine,

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