« EdellinenJatka »
that ever existed-Ausonius thought that modesty forbad him to plead inability for a task, to which Casar had judged him equal.
From its peculiar nature, and many auspicious circumstances, attendant on its present projection, the Proprietors and Conductors of this Journal are not without pleasing prospects, although they may be obscured, as heretofore, by the clouds of misfortune.
Uniting, in one plan, the grand compartments of Science, Literature, and the Arts, it combines whatever is pleasing with whatever is useful, the advancement of speculative knowlodge, with the history of practical results. It makes liberal provision for the CAPRICIOUS VARIATIONS OF LITERARY PURSUIT; and, embracing numerous objects of rational inquiry, it ought to obtain the cooperation of the learned of all parties.*
We now commence our career; and hope that, at least, we may approach the goal. We are governed by every noble Power, thaving a laudable influence over the mind of man: by the desire of glory and the ignominy of defeat; by the goadings of that blessed instinct, which will not suffer our faculties to rust with slothfulness, or droop in lethargy; by all the documents of Reason and Experience which demonstrate that such exertions are salutary; by generous Emulation; by honest Pride, and by a VIVID SENSE OF THE POWER AND RESOURCES OF OUR COUNTRY. We call, and we hope, audibly, upon our contemporaries for literary, for scientific, for MORAL AID. To such a call the most accomplished of the Americans cannot be inattentive. The Tutelary Genius of the country will then smile benignantly on our labours, and we shall be lighted to success, by a ray from Heaven.
* A note, appended to a preceding paragraph, pertinent to politicians, the Editor avers, upon the faith of a Cavalier, has no sort of allusion to the reigning administration, its admirers, or adherents. What are called, in the language of party, democrats, or republicans, often contribute liberally to this journal, which is nothing like the journals of faction, and is wholly vacant of political and theological discussion.
† Many references are had in this paragraph, to the glowing and ener getic language of one of the most accomplished scholars of Trinity College, Dublin.
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.
The letters from L- excite the most vivid interest; but, alas! their object cannot be suddenly realized. He, to whom they so pathetically refer, is under the harrow of Pain and the bleeding thongs of Adversity. Still "gay Hope," sometimes irradiating his gloom, points to the BRILLIANT FUTURE, and urges him to exclaim, in the loftiest tone of independence,
Although my limbs Disease invades,
Her wings IMAGINATION tries,
Where DENNIE's humble turrets rise.
Here stop, my soul, thy rapid flight,
Nor from the pleasing groves depart,
Where Wisdom first informed my heart.
Here let me through the vales pursue,
My guide, my FATHER, and my FRIEND;
Once more on Wisdom's voice attend.
From false caresses, causeless strife,
Wild Hope, vain Fear, alike remov'd,
Tben best enjoyed, when most improv'd.
Teach me, thou venerable bower,
Cool Meditation's quiet seat,
The silent grandeur of retreat.
When Pride, by Guilt, to greatness climbs,“
Or raging Factions rush to war,
I can't prevent, and WILL NOT SHARE.
But, lest I fall, by subtler foes,
Bright Wisdom teach me MARY's art,
And QUELY THE REBELS of the heart.
The idea so fondly cherished by one, who, in familiar correspondence, frankly denominates himself “ an Idler,” is one of those dreadful delusions, by which, as by the false fire of the meadows, darkling man is so often beguiled. The sporting with Amaryllis in the shade, or hearkening to all the songs of Melody may become the luxurious, but not the aspiring. Ambition and Enterprize must “ scorn delights, and live laborious days."
Not on beds of fading Powers,
Shedding soon their gaudy pride,
Will true Pleasure long reside.
Enthroned sits the immortal Fair,
The steps are PERIL, TOIL, and care;
To the observation of the Editor the manners, habits and principles of “a Cheerful Christian” are perfectly familiar. Our correspondent enjoys the “viridis Senectus” of Virgil, combined in happy alliance with the “ animosus infans” of Horace. He may well exclaim, in the language of a virtuous man and pure song writer,
With a courage undaunted may I face my last day,
The most catholic, liberal, and indulgent Public are respectfully and earnestly entreated to suspend their opinion, with respect to the character of this miscellany under its novel and animated arrangement, until the appearance of The Port Folio of February, and the ensuing months. The holidays of this festive season had commmenced their cheerful career, prior to the projection of a plan, which, auxiliary to some of the noblest
projects of the studious brain, shall succeed, if human Power can effect the object. Meanwhile, a section of the contents of this number has been, in the technical phrase of the typographer, made up rather hastily. Nevertheless, the leading articles are, in despite of the disadvantages alluded to, amply entitled to the highest praise which the Editor can impart. Few articles even in the Edinburgh Review, or the Gentleman's Magazine, when Cave was its conducter, and Johnson its contributor, possess more sterling merit than the Review of the life and writings of Henry Kirke White, the Biography of Dunbar, and, above all, the admirable letter from Ornithologist Wilson, and the elegant and profound remarks upon the famous picture so much extolled by the partisans and admirers of sir BENJAMIN WEST.
The present literary Partners in The Port Folio, thougb of pretensions sufficiently modest, and without a particle of Pride, Arrogance, or Vanity, are so justly conscious of the resources they pos8088, or can comMAND that they disdain piteously to beg literary aid, from any quarter. If men choose to decline a cor. respondence with us, be it so. In our way to the Temple of Fame we can march on, without a staff.
On the other hand, the Editors are too sensible of the valuo of adventitious aid, scornfully to shun communion with men of letters. The cultivators of Polite Literature, therefore, men of literary research, men of Science, the sons of genuine Genius, the rotaries of Pure Taste, are cordially invited to the most liberal intercourse of mind. He, who writes for fame, shall be strenuously supported. He, who writes for gold shall, if his productions be deemed meritorious, receive, from the Proprietors, a liberal remuneration.
While we thus adjure LEARNING and GENIUS 10 come over to Macedonia and help us, we wish, at the same time, to discourage the visits of pert Pretention. All pseudo critics, literary quacks, literary dabblers, witlings, punsters, poetasters, the constructors of conundrums, the researchers of rebusses, the resolvers of riddles, and the artificers of an acrostic are conjured to abstain from tampering with The Port Folio. More. over, for sweet Charity's sake let us not be afflicted with insipid elegies upon milliners' and seamstresses' apprentices, and dead girls in general. We earnestly deprecate all the doleful varie. ties of canting, whining, bleating, and bellowing. We are determined not to be the pastors of silly sheep; and, in our literary purlieus, we shall be vigilant against the admission of bulls, whether of the Irish or American breed. Against that tumid style, so much in vogue in this country, we enter our most solemn and decided protest. While, from the literary loom, we can manufacture, or furnish rich brocade, and stuff, which will svear well, we wish not to expose for sale a single sample of American fustian.
Not without trembling, the Literary Partners of The Port Folio now wait for the return of that impartial verdict in which the Public sooner or later are always agreed. In the Court of Criticism our cause is to be tried by the Supreme Judges, and the Grand Jury of Literary Inquest. If we be culprits, let us be branded; if otherwise, let the Foreman, with a manly voice, pronounce NOT GUILTY.