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*WINTER, sullen and sad, with all his rising train, Vapours, and Clouds and Storms, which oppresses other men, less valetudinary, often ministers, by an agency, at once magical and mysterious, to the invigoration of his body, and the burnishing of his mind. Though his Imagination never blooms, and his Judgment never ripens, yet his humble faculties are rarely more vigorous, than during the austerest season. His drooping Spirit, like certain lowly evergreens, reveals some sickly signs of animation, amid frosts and snows: while the PRIDE OF THE GARDEN, the Rose and the Hyacinth, reserve the glorious expansion of their beauteous flowers, until the return of the fostering gale, fthe warbling bird, brilliant skies, and genial sunshine.
Personal and domestic misfortunes, however acute to the temperament of Sensibility, are gradually mitigated by Meditation. By the benignity of the Great Author of our existence, we are created, not merely with hearts to feel, but with minds to ponder. Reflection and Contemplation, lovely sisters, are often within our call, in the gloomiest night of Horror. Moreover, the moral consolation, so liberally imparted by the best AND BRIGHTEST OF BOOKS, affords more solace to Grief than all the manuals of Epictetus, or all the dogmas of Zeng. Time, which on all things lays his lenient hand, supported by the puissant auxiliaries, already indicated, though they may not vanquish the troops of Care, yet, unquestionably, they always keep in check the enemy.
During that painful and protracted period, when the Editor was interdicted from the exercise of a favourite employment,
† The Editor humbly hopes that, by the sternest critics, this figure will not be deemed too puerile, on the one hand, or too daring on the other. Even in our Hyperborean climate, the Rose may wait, in pleasing expectation, for the arrival of any warbler; but the Author's allusion is to one of the wildest, though certainly not the least delectable of the oriental fictions, in which the Nightingale is said to be enamoured of the Rose. Without gross violence of metaphor, therefore, the timid Beauty may be supposed not to blush, until tkie arrival of her lover. .
The Sacred Scriptures,
The Port Folio was very ably and assiduously conducted, by a literary Friend and a Gentleman,* whose Genius and Industry are brilliantly conspicuous. But no literary locum tenens, no deputy editor, however alert and indefatigable, however affluent with all the riches of Learning, however glittering with all the diamonds of Wit, and glorious with all the gifts of Fancy, can possibly, at all times, supply the place of the Principal. From the very nature of his office, the latter must have more experience in editing, and more technical knowledge, with respect to the details of literary labour. Here the comparison ends. The Editor of The Port Folio is too painfully conscious of his innumerable imperfections, not to confess, with alacrity, how unworthy he is of his station, in comparison with a host of other scholars.
But the habitual and inveterate partiality of his Booksellers still urges them to retain in the ranks a man, who has little more to contribute to the noble cause of Learning and Science, than the most eager Solicitude, and the most ardent Zeal. The Editor, therefore, REMAINS AT HIS POST; and, to pursue the allusion, whether he is a partisan officer, or a humble sentinel, he will strive to do his duty.
Notwithstanding the illness and rustication of the Editor, and the consequent suspension of his labours, the interest of the proprietors of The Port Folio has not been affected. The subscription list has increased, is increasing, and SHALL NOT BE DIMINISHED.† The kindness, candour, liberality and long suffering of the reading classes of the American nation deserve, and they shall receive all the gratitude, which we can display. By that coy mistress, the Public, the Editor has always been treated, as a sort of favoured lover; though, unquestionably, for this fond preference, he is indebted much more to her graciousness, than to his gallantry. In the artifice of courtship he never was an adept; but his suit has been listened to, in spite of all his aukwardness, rudeness and rusticity.
Paus Allen, Esq.
* The allusion is to a celebrated declaration in the House of Commons, by the brilliant Mr. Dunning, afterwards Lord Ashburton, the friend of Sir W. Jones, the ornament of the bar and the delight of society.
Whether the pages of this Journal be dull, or bright, whether its contributors recline on the sofas of INDOLENCE, repose in the bowers of RETIREMENT, or ramble over the regions of literature, still the work is munificently patronized, not by * Politicians, not by faction, not by the vulgar, but by the most illustrious descriptions of American society, by the Liberal, the Ladies, the Lawyers, the Clergy, and all the Gentlemen and CAVALIERS of Columbia.
This tzeal of kindness merits a liberal return.
Accordingly, a few days, prior to the festivities of Christmas, the senior proprietor of this paper, with that LIBERALITY and ardour of enterprize, for which he is justly characterized, and which ve promptly and sincerely acknowledge, resolved that the resources of the Port Folio shall be augmented, its spirit quickened, and its POPULARITY PERPETUATED. The junior partner of the house is now in the metropolis of the British Empire, and invested with full powers, as a literary ambassador, to negociate with artists, booksellers and writers for an ample collection of the most spirited and splendid plates which can be purchased, accompanied with ORIGINAL elucidations and ESSAYS, to adorn this Journal. In future, the engravings for The Port Folio will be equally numerous and captivating. With respect to the mechanical execution of the work, it is agreed, even among the prejudiced, that no Magazine, or periodical pamphlet, issuing from any of the presses of Europe, exceeds The Port Folio in the brilliancy and correctness of typography. With respect to the price, a consideration in the purchase of a pamphlet, not to be slighted, even by liberal Economy, it is capable of logical and legal proof that it is sold at a very fair, as well as just valuation. In fact, no Journal of similar workmanship, and presenting the same quanti
• The pernicious influence, or interference of a certain description of this class of American animals has frequently jeopardized the interest of the Editor, and driven him repeatedly to the very verge of ruin. He has felt their ingratitude; he abhors their meanness; and, contemptuously assures them, in the language of an indignant writer, that they do not riSE TO THE DIGYITY of being hated, and are only despised with moderation.
ty of letter press, is afforded at so cheap a rate, either at home, or abroad.
It now remains for the Editor to speak audibly, concerning the cardinal point of this enterprize, the LITERARY MANAGEMENT, on which the reputation of the work demonstrably depends. Well printed pages, and magnificent plates have their charms, and due consideration; but the public justly expect fine writing, as well as striking illustrations. Men call clamorously for specimens of ORIGINAL GENIUS, and for all, which TALENTS and assiduity can impart to strengthen, or to divert the mind. This call, it is proposed, to answer as distinctly as possible.
The confederacy of men of letters, associated at the commencement of The Port Folio, in its Phænix form, having dissolved, almost as soon as they convened, for reasons which, in a future number, we shall fully detail to our laughing readers, the Editor ever since, has been obliged, in long and frequent in. tervals of indisposition, to rely, principally, upon fortuitous and elemosynary aid. Hence, like any man depending upon alms for his support, his literary supplies were equally scanty and preca. rious. The character of his journal has been impaired, and his own mortification intensely aggravated in consequence of the frequent pemury, or flimsiness of his materials; although many of the communications, with which he has been honoured, are of the very first class of composition.
Fully to atone for the Editor's negligencies, absences, and indispositions, a scheme equally specious and solid has been, at length, happily devised. Conscious that the character of a lettered confederacy was exactly of that crumbling nature, as the allied army under the duke of Brunswick; the Editor, for a very long season, has been anxious for a colleague, who should have a direct interest in the enterprize, who should be a confidential and favourite friend, and who should be capable of unlocking the stores of Learning, and revealing the glories of Genius. This, plan is of no hasty adoption. Two years ago, all the keenness of the Editor's inquisitive optics was intensely fixed upon a gentleman and a scholar, who, from his liberal leisure, and still more liberal mind, was, of all men, the individual, whom the
Editor would select, after the maturest deliberation. For tunately for his gratification, the interest of The Port Folio, and the satisfaction of its subscribers, this beloved and accomplished associate is now in full communion with the Editor. With the joyful acquiescence of the Proprietor, they have formed a literary coparceny; they have embarked in a joint adventure to the regions of wit; the Editor contributing nothing to the com. mon stock, but the bankruptcy of his mind, while his opulent associate furnishes the amplest capital.
In the painful progress of his literary labours, while the Edi. for has had frequent occasion to exclaim with Paul, * Demas hath forsaken me, having loved too much the things of this world, it is a source of the most pleasurable sensation exultingly to announce that Luke is with me. Such is the invincible modesty of our friend, that he will not permit the Proprietor to point out to the public, who is Luke. We foretell, however, with Mr. Pope, on a similar occasion, that our classical companion will not long be concealed. The most heedless adventurer in the regions of Peru, or the mines of Golconda, in spite of partial concealment and incidental obscurity, must, from bursting radiance on every side, recognize the shining ore, and the precious fossil.
The Editor, therefore, once more engages in a task, which is generally considered as drudgery for the blind, as the proper toil of artless industry; a task, which requires neither the lightt of Learning, nor the activity of Genius, but may be successfully performed without a higher quality than that of bearing burdens, and beating the track of toil, with sluggish resolution. This is an injurious and false opinion, however promulgated by the arrogant and the envious. The province of the Editor, if it be low, is certainly safe. If the fruits it yield are not high flavoured, nevertheless, they are wholesome. As the drudging cultivator of this field, the Editor has a thousand times doubted his qualification. But the opinion of his employers, masters, and patrons have great weight; and let it be added, not in the words of an insiduous flatterer, but one of the honestest men
• See the second most eloquent Epistle of St. Paul to his beloved Timothy. | Johnson.