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ble pamphlets, which would never have appeared short time, or omitted in formal relations, and under arbitrary governments, where every man which are yet to be considered as sparks of truth, lulls himself in indolence under calamities, of which, when united, may afford light in some which he cannot promote the redress, or thinks it of the darkest scenes of state, as, we doubt not, prudence to conceal the uneasiness, of which he will be sufficiently proved in the course of this cannot complain without danger.
Miscellany; and which it is, therefore, the inThe multiplicity of religious sects tolerated terest of the public to preserve unextinguished. among us, of which every one has found oppo- The same observation may be extended to nents and vindicators, is another source of subjects of yet more importance. In controunexhaustible publication, almost peculiar to versies that relate to the truths of religion, the ourselves; for controversies cannot be long con- first essays of reformation are generally timotinued, nor frequently revived, where an inquisi- rous; and those who have opinions to offer, tor has a right to shut up the disputants in which they expect to be opposed, produce their dungeons; or where silence can be imposed on sentiments by degrees, and, for the most part, in either party by the refusal of a license.
small tracts; by degrees, that they may not Not that it should be inferred from hence, that shock their readers with too many novelties political or religious controversies are the only at once; and in small tracts, that they may be products of the liberty of the British press; the easily dispersed, or privately printed ; almost mind once let loose to inquiry, and suffered to every controversy, therefore, has been, for a operate without restraint, 'necessarily deviates time, carried on in pamphlets, nor has swelled into peculiar opinions, and wanders in new tracks, into larger volumes, till the first ardour of the where she is indeed sometimes lost in a labyrinth, disputants has subsided, and they have recolfrom which though she cannot return, and scarce lected their notions with coolness enough to knows how to proceed, yet sometimes makes digest them into order, consolidate them into sysuseful discoveries, or finds out nearer paths to tems, and fortify them with authorities. knowledge.
From pamphlets, consequently, are to be The boundless liberty with which every man learned the progress of every debate; the varimay write his own thoughts, and the opportu- ous state to which the questions have been nity of conveying new sentiments to the public, changed; the artifices and fallacies which have without danger of suffering either ridicule or been used, and the subterfuges by which reason censure, which every man may enjoy, whose has been eluded ; in such writings may be seen vanity does not incite him too hastily to own his how the mind has been opened by degrees, how performances, naturally invites those who em- one truth has led to another, how error has been ploy themselves in speculation, to try how their disentangled, and hints improved to demonstranotions will be received by a nation, which ex- tion, which pleasure, and many others, are empts caution from fear, and modesty from lost by him that only reads the larger writers, shame; and it is no wonder, that where repu- by whom these scattered sentiments are coltation may be gained, but needs not be lost, lected, who will see none of the changes of multitudes are willing to try their fortune, and fortune which every opinion has passed through, thrust their opinions into the light; sometimes will have no opportunity of remarking the tranwith unsuccessful haste, and sometimes with sient advantages which error may sometimes happy temerity.
obtain, by the artifices of its patron, or the sucIt is observed, that, among the natives of cessful rallies by which truth regains the day, England, is to be found a greater variety of hu- after a repulse; but will be to him, who traces mour, than in any other country; and doubt. the dispute through into particular gradations, less, where every man has a full liberty to pro- as he that hears of a victory, to him that sees pagate his conceptions, variety of humour must the battle. produce variety of writers; and, where the Since the advantages of preserving these small number of authors is so great, there cannot but tracts are so numerous, our attempt to unite be some worthy of distinction.
them in volumes cannot be thought either uscAll these, and many other causes, too tedious less or unseasonable ; for there is no other meto be enumerated, have contributed to make thod of securing them from accidents; and they pamphlets and small tracts a very important part have already been so long neglected that this of an English library; nor are there any pieces, design cannot be delayed, without hazarding upon which those, who aspire to the reputation the loss of many pieces, which deserve to be of judicious collectors of books, bestow more transmitted to another age. attention, or greater expense; because many The practice of publishing pamphlets on the advantages may be expected from the perusal of most important subjects, has now prevailed these small productions, which are scarcely to more than two centuries among us; and therebe found in that of larger works.
fore it cannot be doubted, but that, as no large If we regard history, it is well known that collections have been yet made, many curious most political treatises have for a long time ap- tracts must have perished; but it is too late to peared in this form, and that the first relations lament that loss; por ought we to reflect upon of transactions, while they are yet the subject it, with any other view, than that of quickening of conversation, divide the opinions, and employ our endeavours for the preservation of those the conjectures of mankind, are delivered by that yet remain; of which we have now a these petty writers who have opportunities of greater number than was perhaps ever amassed collecting the different sentiments of disputants, by any one person. of inquiring the truth from living witnesses, The first appearance of pamphlets among us, and of copying their representations from the is generally thought to be at the new annorition life ; and, therefore, they preserve a multitude raised against the errors and corru of particular incidents, which are forgotten in al Church of Rome. Those who
OF TRACTS AND FUGITIVE PIECES. vinced of the reasonableness of the new learn- I whom they were written, or to whom they were ing, as it was then called, propagated their sold. opinions in small pieces, which were cheaply The next reign is too well known to have printed; and, what was then of great impor- been a time of confusion, and disturbance, and tance, easily concealed. These treatises were disputes of every kind; and the writings which generally printed in foreign countries, and are were produced, bear a natural proportion to the not, therefore, always very correct. There was number of questions that were discossed at that not then that opportunity of printing in private ; time; each party had its authors and its presses, for the number of printers was small, and the and no endeavours were omitted to gain prosepresses were casily overlooked by the clergy, lytes to every opinion. I know not whether who spared no labour or vigilance for the sup- this may not properly be called The Age of pression of heresy. There is, however, reazon Pamphlets ; for, though they, perhaps, may not io suspect, that some attempts were made to arise to such multitudes as Mr. Rawlinson imacarry on the propagation of truth by a secret gined, they were, undoubtedly, more numerous press; for one of the first treatises in favour of than can be conceived by any who have not had the reformation, is said, at the end, to be printed an opportunity of examining them. at Greenwich, by the permission of the Lord of After the Restoration, the same differences, in Hosts.
religious opinions, are well known to have subIn the time of king Edward the Sixth, the sisted, and the same political struggles to have presses were employed in favour of the reform- been frequently renewed ; and, therefore, a great cd religion, and small tracts were dispersed over number of pens were employed, on different oc. the nation, to reconcile them to the new forms casions, till at length all other disputes were of worship. In this reign, likewise, political absorbed in the popish controversy. pamphlets may be said to have begun, by the From the pamphlets which ihese different addresses of the rebels of Devonshire; all which periods of time produced, it is proposed, that means of propagating the sentiments of the this Miscellany shall be compiled; for which it people so disturbed the court, that no sooner cannot be supposed that materials will be wantwas queen Mary resolved to reduce her subjects ing; and, therefore, the only difficulty will be in to the Romish superstition, but she artfully, by what manner to dispose them. a charter* granted to ceriain freemen of Lon.
Those who have gone before as in underdon, in whose fidelity, no doubt, she confided, takings of this kind, have ranged the pamphlets, entirely prohibited all presses, but what should which chance threw into their hands, without be licensed by them; which charter is that by any regard either to the subject on which they which the corporation of Stationers in London is treated, or the time in which they were written; at this time incorporated.
a practice in no wise to be imitated by us, who Under the reign of queen Elizabeth, when want for no materials; of which we shall choose liberty again began to fourish, the practice of those we think best for the particular circunwriting pamphlets became more general, presses stances of times and things, and most instruciwere multiplied, and books were dispersed; and, ing and entertaining to the reader. I believe, it may properly be said, that the Of the different methods which present themtrade of writing began at ihal time, and that it selves upon the first view of the great heaps of has ever since gradually increased in the num- pamphlets which the Harleian library exhibits
, ber, though, perhaps, not in the style of those the two which merit most attention are, to disthat followed it.
tribute the treatises acccording to their subjects, In this reign was erected the first secret press or their dates; but neither of these ways can be against the church as now established, of which conveniently followed. By ranging our collec. I have found any certain account. It was em- tion in order of time, we must necessarily publish ployed by the Puritans and conveyed from one those pieces first, which least engage the curipart of the nation to another, by them, as they osity of the bulk of mankind; and our design found themselves in danger of discovery. From must fall to the ground, for want of encourage this press issued most of the pamphleis against ment, before it can be so far advanced as to ob Whilgift and his associates in the ecclesiastical tain general regard : by confining ourselves for government, and, when it was at last seized at
any long time to any single subject, we shall Manchester, it was employed upon a pamphlet reduce our readers to one class; and, as we called More Work for a Cooper.
shall lose all the grace of variety, shall disgust In the peaceablo reign of King James, those all those who read chiefly to be diverted. Then minds which might, perhaps, with less disturb- is likewise one objection of equal force against ance of the world have been engrossed by war, both these methods, that we shall preclude ourwere employed in controversy; and writings of selves from the advantage of any future discove all kinds were multiplied among us. The press, ries; and we cannot hope to assernble at once however, was not wholly engaged in polemical all the pamplets which have been written in any performances, for more innocent subjects were age or on any subject. sometimes treated; and it deserves to be re- It may be added, in vindication of our inmarked, because it is not generally known, that tended practice, that it is the same with that of the treatises of Husbandry and Agriculture, Photius, whose collections are no less miscellawhich were published about that time, are so neous than ours; and who declares, that be numerous, that it can scarcely be imagined by leaves it to his reader to reduce his extracts
under their proper heads. Which begins thus : “Know ye, that We, consider, this collection to the public, will be introduced
Most of the pieces which shall be offered in heretical books or tracts-against the faith and sound by short prefaces, in which will be given sonas Catholic doctrine of holy mother, the church,” &c. account of the reasons for which they are a
serted; notes will be sometimes adjoined, for the withstanding every subject may not be relished explanation of obscure passages, or obsolete ex- by every reader, yet the buyer may be assured pressions; and care will be taken to mingle use that each number will repay his generous suband pleasure through the whole collection. Not-scription.
A VIEW OF THE CONTROVERSY
MONS. CROUSAZ AND MR. WARBURTON,
ON THE SUBJECT OF
MR. POPE'S ESSAY ON MAN,
IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, VOL. XI.
MR. URBAN,- It would not be found useless In page 35th of the English translation, ne in the learned world, if in written controversies, exhibits an observation which every writer ought as in oral disputations, a moderator could be to impress upon his mind, and which may afford selected, who might in some degree superintend a sufficient apology for his commentary. the debate, restrain all needless excursions, re- On the notion of a ruling passion he offers this press all personal reflections, and at last recapi-remark: “Nothing so much hinders men from tulate the arguments on each side ; and who, obtaining a complete victory over their ruling thongh he should not assume the province of passions, as that all the advantages gained in deciding the question, might at least exhibit it in their days of retreat, by just and sober reflecits true state.
tions, whether struck out by their own minds, or This reflection arose in my mind upon the borrowed from good books, or from the converconsideration of Mr. Croosaz's Commentary on sation of men of merit, are destroyed in a few the Essay on Man, and Mr. Warburton's An- moments by a free intercourse and acquaintance swer to it. The importance of the subject, the with libertines; and thus the work is always to reputation and abilities of the controvertists, and be begun anew. A gamester resolves to leave perhaps the ardour with which each has en-off play, by which he finds his health impaned, deavoured to support his cause, bave made an his family ruincd, and his passions inflamed; in attempt of this kind necessary for the information this resolution he persists a few days, but soun of the greatest number of Mr. Pope's readers. yields to an invitation, which will give his pres
Among the duties of a moderator, I have men- vailing inclination an opportunity of reviving in tioned that of recalling the disputants to the sub- all its force. The case is the same with other ject, and cutting off'the excrescences of a debate, men: but is reason to be charged with these cawhich Mr. Crousaz will not suffer to be long un- lamities and follies, or rather the man who reemployed, and the repression of personal invec, fuses to listen to its voice in opposition to imtives which have not been very carefully avoided pertinent solicitations ?” on either part; and are less excusable, because On the means recommended for the attainit has not been proved, that either the poet, or ment of happiness, he observes, that “the abilihis commentator, wrote with any other design ties which our Maker has given us, and the than that of promoting happiness by cultivating internal and external advantages with which he reason and piety.
has invested us, are of two very different kinds; Mr. Warburton has indeed so much depressed those of one kind are bestowed in common upon the character of his adversary, that before I con- us and the brute creation, but the other exalts us sider the controversy between them, I think it far above other animals. To disregard any of necessary to exhibit some specimens of Mr. these gifts, would be ingratitude; but to neglect Crousaz's sentiments, by which it will probably those of greater excellence, to go no farther than be sbown, that he is far from deserving either the gross satisfactions of sense, and the functions indignation or contempt; that his notions are of mere animal life, would be a far greater just, though they are sometimes introduced with crime. We are formed by our Creator capable out necessity; and defended when they are not of acquiring knowledge, and regulating our con. opposed; and that his abilities and parts are duct by reasonable rules; it is therefore our such as may entille him to erence from those duty to cultivate our understandings, and exait who think his criticisms superfluous.
our virtues. We need but make the experiment
ON THE LONDON CHRONICLE.
weaken the attention, and dull the under
unvaried truths: he that seeks God, and makes
joyments of his own procuring; void of satisfac-
that a continuation of my correspondence will be
It has always been lamented, that of the little the scheme can only be so far known as the time allotted to man, much must be spent upon author shall think fit to discover it. superfluities. Every prospect has its obstruc- The Paper which we now invite the public to cions, which we must break to enlarge our view; add to the papers with which it is already rather every step of our progress finds impediments, wearied than satisfied, consists of omny parts; which, however eager to go forward, we must some of which it has in common with other peristop to remove. Even those who profess to teach odical sheets, and some peculiar to itzelf. the way to happiness, have multiplied our en- The first demand made by the reader of a cuinbrances, and the author of almost every book journal is, that he should find an aecurate acretards his instructions by a preface.
count of foreign transactions and domestic ideia The writers of the Chronicle hope to be easily dents. This is always expected, but this is very forgiven, though they should not be free from an rarely performed. Of those writers who have infection that has seized the whole fraternity, and taken upon themselves the task of intelligence instead of falling immediately to their subjects, some have given and others have sold their abashould detain the reader for a time with an ac- lities, whether small or great, to one or other of count of the importance of their design, the exo the parties that divide us ; and without a wish tent of their plan, and the accuracy of the method for truth or thought of decency, without care of which they intend to prosecute. Such premo- any other reputation than that of a stubborn adnitions, though not always necessary when the herence to their abettors, carry on the same reader has the book complete in his hand, and tenor of representation through all the vicissimay find by his own eyes whatever can be found tudes of right and wrong, neither depressed by in it, yet may be more easily allowed to works detection, nor abashed by confutation, proud af nublished gradually in successive parts, of which the hourly increase of infamy, and ready to boast
of all the contumelies that falsehood and slander | must always be imperfect by omission, and often may bring upon them, as new proofs of their erroneous by misinformation ; but even in these zeal and fidelity.
there shall not be wanted care to avoid misWith these heroes we have no ambition to be takes, or to rectify them whenever they shall be numbered; we leave to the confessors of faction found. the merit of their sufferings, and are desirous to That part of our work, by which it is discinsbeiter ourselves under the protection of truth. guished from all others, is the literary journal, or That all our facts will be authentic, or all our account of the labours and productions of the remarks just, we dare not venture to promise: learned. This was for a long time among the we can relate but what we hear, we can point deficiencies of English literature ; but as the ca. out but what we see. Of remote transactions, price of man is always starting from too little to the first accounts are always confused, and com- too much, we have now, among other disturberg monly exaggerated: and in domestic affairs, if of human quiet, a numerous body of reviewers the power to conceal is l'ess, the interest to mis- and remarkers. represent is often greater; and, what is suffi- Every art is improved by the emulation of ciently vexatious, truth seems to fly from curi- competitors; those who make no advances toosity, and as many inquirers produce many nar- wards excellence, may stand as warnings against ratives, whatever engages the public attention is faults. We shall endeavour to avoid that pecuimmediately disguised by the embellishments of lance which treats with contempt whatever has fiction. We pretend to no peculiar power of dis- hitherto been reputed sacred. We shall repress entangling contradiction or denuding forgery, we that elation of malignity, which wantons in the have no settled correspondence with the Anti- cruelties of criticism, and not only murders repupodos, nor maintain any spies in the cabinets of tation, but murders it by torture. Whenever princes. But as we shall always be conscious we feel ourselves ignorant, we shall at least be that our mistakes are involuntary, we shall modest. Our intention is not to pre-occupy watch the gradual discoveries of time, and re-judgment by praise or censure, but to gratify tract whatever we have hastily and erroneously curiosity by early intelligence, and to tell rather advanced.
what our authors have attempted, than what In the narratives of the daily writers every they have performed. The titles of books are reader perceives somewhat of neatness and pu- necessarily short, and therefore disclose but imrity wanting, which at the first view it seems perfectly the contents; they are sometimes fraudeasy to supply; but it must be considered, that ulent, and intended to raise false expectations. those passages must be written in haste, and In our account this brevity will be extended, and that there is often no other choice, but that they these frauds, whenever they are detected, will must want either novelty or accuracy; and that be exposed; for though we write without intenas life is very uniform, the affairs of one week are tion to injure, we shall not suffer ourselves to be so like those of another, that by any attempt made parties to deceit. after variety of expression, invention would soon If any author shall transmit a summary of his be wearied, and language exhausted. Some im- work, we shall willingly receive it; if any liteprovements however we hope to make ; and for rary anecdote, or curious observation, shall be che rest, we think that when we commit only communicated to us, we will carefully insert it. common faults, we shall not be excluded from Many facts are known and forgotten; many obcommon indulgence.
servations are made and suppressed; and enterThe accounts of prices of corn and stocks are tainment and instruction are frequently lost, for to most of our readers of more importance than want of a repository in which they may be connarratiyes of greater sound: and as exactness is veniently preserved. here within the reach of diligence, our readers No man can modestly promise what he cannot may justly require it from us.
ascertain : we hope for the praise of knowledge Memorials of a private and personal kind, and discernment, but we claim only that of dilliwhich relate deaths, marriages, and preferments, gence and candour.
THE WORLD DISPLAYED.
NAVIGATION,, like other arts, has been per-| the violence of the ocean before the ark of focted by degrees. It is not easy to conceive Noah. that any age or nation was without some vessel, As the tradition of the deluge has been transin which rivers might be passed by travellers, mitted to almost all the nations of the earth, it or Lakes frequented by fishermen; but we have must be supposed that the memory of the means no knowledge of any ship that could endure by which Noah and his family were preserved