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HE avowed tendency of this Work was to preclude the

Tperiodical diffemination of trifling tales of fiction, which too

frequently deceive while they amufe, and ruin while they fafcinate. It was hoped on the moft folid principles-that the Hiftory of this and other countries, would furnish amufement blended with instruction; and interefting incidents, adorned by Truth. We ought not to speak decifively on the refult of our endeavours; we are not so ridiculously guided by Fanaticifm, as to fuppofe that reformation of any kind is to be obtained by an inftantaneous effort, or by a daring affeveration on the contrary, it is prefumed, that the fureft advances are to be made by gradual, or perhaps imperceptible, degrees. And in this way have we already met fuccefs, if our numerous private correfpondents are fincere in their expreffions of approbation; and the general bulk of our prefent readers feriously difpofed, as their orders indicate, to continue their journey with us, along the impetuous courfe of Time,

In no walk of literature is an author fendered more confpicuous than as a faithful and energetic narrator of public events: a great Hiftorian is a literary character of the firft magnitude; nor are Homer and Virgil more admired for the beauty of their poetical descriptions, than for the hiftorical information contained in their celebrated works, which no other records have handed to pofterity.

Recent circumftances, indeed, have convinced us of the utility of our favourite subject: for, fince the first appearance of this Compilation, volumes and pamphlets, fomewhat of the fame nature, have been foifted on the Public; and, as if confcious of fuccefs, the feveral Editors, wholly inattentive to the formation, or the quality, of their contents, have fheltered themfelves under the bulwark of a reputation, which they neither raised nor accelerated.

The valuable addition to this Work-ENGLISH HISTORY by Eminent Men-is in a ftate of great forwardness, when the Price of the whole is taken into deliberate confideration. Some of our inVOL. II.



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