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R. NORRIS HENRY,
No. 129, Broadway, New York.
The nature of this enterprise, may be understood from a few considerations which the advertisers will venture to subjoin to their annunciation of it. The periodical works of Great Britain and France contain a mass of literary and scientific intelligence, which does not reach the American public for want of a suitable channel, but which would be read among us with equal pleasure and profit. Such of the British Reviews and Magazines as are reprinted in the United States,-not excepting the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews,-embrace much matter which is of little interest and of no advantage to the American reader, and not unfrequently fitted to vitiate his literary taste, his morals, or his political principles. It is desirable, under these circumstances, that a selection should be made, such as would furnish the valuable and entertaining portion of their contents, to the exclusion of the other portion consist: ing of details and speculations either uninteresting in themselves, or mischievous in their tendency, or altogether of local concern and application. On this plan, idle expense and a fruitless consumption of time, would be obviated; for pages destitute of merit might be substituted many of value that now remain unknown and inaccessible. Of several British journals of the scientific and erudite cast, and others indeed of a more general and at
the same time very solid character, little or no use is made by the editors and compilers of the periodical works printed in the United States.
The object of the one now about to be issued, is the accumulation, in a permanent form, of the materials thus neglected, and of the literary and scientific articles worthy of being reprinted in this country, but which, when so, are accompanied by others possessing no claim to attention. A miscellany—the Select Reviewsmakin in the design, but not equal in comprehensiveness, to the present, flourished for some years in this city, and would, it may be presumed, have continued to be supported by a wide-spread subscription, but for an alteration of the plan, and a series of adventitious reverses. The revival of it, with a larger scope, would seem likely to be attended with still more signal success than its original existence, owing to the great multiplication of readers of perodical works, and the wide diffusion of the habit of seeking in them, both information and amusement.
Emboldened by these views the advertisers feel assured of an extensive patronage for the Museum of Foreign Literature and Science. The gentleman who is engaged to compile it, will be supplied for the purpose, at the earliest periods, with a great variety of British and French journals, and will bestow his best care and judgment in the execution of the task which he has undertaken.
The Prospectus of the Publisher of this work, explains 'its design and the considerations from which it was undertaken. All the Foreign Journals, which are intended to be employed in the compilation of it, could not be procured in the short interval which has elapsed since its conception. Most of the principal British Magazines and Reviews for the month of July, to which this, the first number of the Museum, is meant to be referred, have, however, been received, and used in the desired extent. In the course of a few months, a greater variety of valuable materials will be subjected to the choice of the Editor. He will be governed, in that choice, by the aim of embodying what may prove universally instructive and otherwise lastingly useful, as much as by the wish to furnish entertainment to the readers of the work. It is his intention, should he have leisure, to prefix occasionally to a number, a general review of the character and contents, of the British periodical publications of the date the most recent at the time of its
appearance. A few remarks from him, with respect to some of the articles selected for the present number, may not be deemed superfluous or impertinent. The second article, Walter of Aquitaine, which is not without intrinsic interest, he has introduced chiefly as a curious specimen of the heroic poetry of the age to which it belongs. He has transplanted the review of Bracebridge Hall, from Blackwood's Magazine, not because he admires its spirit and concurs entirely in its critical sentence, but in order to exemplify the temper of the Scottish writers of the ministerial party, and the treatment to which Washington Irving, as an American, is exposed from most of the leading journals of Great