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EMBELLISHED WITH A PORTRAIT OF HIS SERENE HIGHNESS THE
PRINCE OF HESSE-HOMBURG.
MONTALY MAGAZINES have opened a way for every kind of inquiry and information. The in. belligence and discussion contained in them are very extensive and various; and they have been the Titans of diffusing a general habit of reading through the nation, which in a certain degree hath enlarged the public understanding. HERE, too, are preserved 4 multitude of useful hints, observations, and facts, which other wise might have never appeared. - Dr. Kippis.
Every Art is improved by the emulation of competitors,- Dr. Johnson.
Printed by J. Gillet, Crown.court, Fleet-street.
BY WUOM COMMUXICATIONS FOR THE EDITOR (POST PAID) ARE RECEIVED.
[Price 12s. Boards; or 14s. Half-bound]
TO THE NINTH VOLUME.
THAT a Free Press is essential to a free Constitution is a selfevident principle, and yet it is equally clear that no engine is capa. ble of more extensive mischief to society, by its continual activity and boundless influence. Hence a difficulty arises between the respect due to Liberty and a regard for Morals, between abstract Right and Legal Restrictions, since where the latter are in force Freedom is limited, and when the former is undefined it runs into licentiousness.
How the security of the state may be best maintained in such an exigency is not easy to determine, without giving offence on one side or the other, and yet all must concede that if private judgement be a natural right, the exercise of it in the way of publication involves a serious duty.
In this country the right has been admitted to the fullest extent, till the periphery which bounds its operation has almost ceased to be perceptible, and the power of the press has in consequence become to a great degree independent of public authority. Under such cir. cumstances numerous evils must necessarily occur which neither Government can prevent, nor Law correct. The same medium that conveys the light of Truth and Virtue to mankind, is perverted by the base and designing into an instrument for contaminating the moral principles of men, so that Liberty becomes like the polluted atmosphere when, charged with mephitic vapours,
It is not air, but floats a nauseous mass
Of all obscene, corrupt, offensive things. Where the press is thus abused, and the state of society exbibits the baleful effects in such a manner as to alarm the friends of order and religion, the disorder must be counteracted by publications calculated to awaken general attention to the common danger, to expose immoral principles, detect literary imposture, and to castigate the enemies of public tranquillity.
With these views the NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE was instituted ; and the success which it experienced convinced the proprietors that they had neither erred in regard to the necessity of the
saw, as well as many others who had the true interests of Literature at heart, that the dæmon of mis-rule employed the periodical press in spreading delusions over the land for the purpose of battening úpon public credulity, and of triumphing in the increase of disloyalty. The impression made by the appearance of this Magazine was somewhat like that produced by the spear of Ithuriel, for the lurking spirit of Hypocrisy, writhing beneath the stroke, threw aside all disguise and sprang forth the confessed champion of Jacobinism, the apologist of Napoleon, and by consequence the daring libeller of all that is venerable, good, and great in this land of freedom, where ingrates curse the soil that gives them bread.
Besides unmasking knavery, which in these days is a service of no ordinary magnitude, the conductors of this Magazine enjoy the satisfaction of having opened a channel of communcation by which the ingenious who feel for their character may reciprocate inquiry and intelligence without running the hazard of having their principles suspected by being associated in the same vehicle with the enemies of order and the scoffers at religion.
An accession of literary strength is a sufficient proof of the propriety of this observation; and the Proprietors, in a grateful sense of the favours they have received, pledge themselves by their exertions to render each succeeding number serviceable to the greatest of human pursuits—that of“ giving ardour to Virtue and confidence to Truth."
London, August 1, 1818.