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stand he has taken and maintained, nor restrain the free expression of his sentiments, unbiassed by any prejudice or predilection, on subjects within the circle of editorial observation. If, in pursuing such a course, he incurs the censure of a few he will at least have the satisfaction of submitting to no dictatorship.
For the favouring smiles that have attended his humble labours, the editor of the Lyceum is grateful. The number of his subscribers is already greater than he had reason to anticipate, and though he seems to have been forgotten by some whom he would have wished to find among the earliest on the list, he has had the satisfaction of seeing there many names that he looked not for.
Were the perusal of a preface as interesting to the reader, as its preparation is flattering to the writer, the editor would willingly expatiate at a greater length;-but lest he weary the patience of his listeners, he will conclude by observing, that in the pursuit of his object, he would not aim too high, for the archer whose confidence is unlimited, may overshoot his mark, and he who trusts that his swiftness of foot will always win him the prize, may see his competitors outstripping, and leaving him far behind; but would promise nothing more than what may be accomplished by unremitted perseverance and assiduity.
BOSTON, JUNE 15, 1827.
Selection of Eulogies in honour of Adams and Jefferson, review of,
Shakspeare, Early Days of,
51, 105, 154, 218
To the Myrtle, by G. A. O.
Tower of London,-
Translation of a Greek Manuscript,
True English Grammar, reviewed,-
JANUARY 15, 1827.
'There is no author acquainted with more shakings and quakings toward the latter end of his new play, (when he is in that plight that he stands peeping betwixt the curtains so fearfully that a bottle of ale cannot be opened but he thinks somebody hisses) than I am at this moment."
We do not propose, by these prefatory remarks, to tire our readers with any speculations that may deter them long from the body of the work. Our present intention is, simply, to show a proper degree of deference for the public as we introduce ourself into their society; to bespeak, if possible, their favourable opinion of the Lyceum, and to inform them what are the qualifications, which should ensure it a free and cordial reception. We hope to be pardoned for a little loquacity at the outset-it is a kind of effervescence arising from our exuberant feelings at the novelty of our situation,-a garrulity which will work its own cure, and pass off with the excitement that produced it. To proceed in this style of pleasant egotism, it will be with us an object of primary importance to pass our judgment-such as it may be-unbiassed by fear or favour, upon the literary productions of our own country. This we shall do, not with the immoveable gravity, and laboured dulness of a quarterly reviewer; nor with the harshness and severity of the malignant critic; nor with the flippancy and pertness of the half-fledged witling, who strives to soar into a region beyond his comprehension and falls to the earth humbled and abashed,-or beats out his brains, if he happen to have any, by flying at the wooden fabrick of stupidity and ignorance. Neither will our observations be brought out for the purpose of saying something smart at the expense of any individual; ours shall be the more desirable task of encouraging the enterprise of the novice,--of using our utmost exerVOL. I.-No 1.
tions to strike out the latent spark of genius, and of urging on the work of the labourer; when his material is good. We will rebuke with gentleness, not insult with brutality, and if we touch a sore place, it shall be with caution and tenderness. We have too often seen the current of the heart's best feelings frozen, the vigour of noble efforts blasted, and the first upspringing of the tender shoot smitten with death at the icy breath of criticism, and are well satisfied that the cause of letters is not advanced, nor any good end attained by exerting the roughness of a mailed and harnessed giant. Not that the thong is never to be applied; for though we may pardon the erratic deviations of genius, we shall be among the first to mete out with an unsparing hand the merited reward to those who become hardened in obstinacy, and persevere in errour in the very face of reproof. Nor shall we neglect to scourge the lion's skin from the back of the pretender to distinction, who has nothing but his folly and effrontery to recommend him to notice,--for the quackery of literature is our abhorrence, and we will do our utmost to discourage it.
In the Tales and Essays which may, from time to time, be found in our pages, we expect that cheerfulness will be the predominant cast, though we shall by no means reject productions of a different complexion, when their definite end is the inculcation of virtuous, manly, or patriotic feelings. Our Memoirs and Biographical Sketches will be confined, principally, to the names of our own departed worthies, for they are first entitled to our veneration, respect, and esteem. What task is more a duty, than that of hallowing their memory who were the first to sound the alarm when the rights of freemen were trampled on, and the liberty that God had given them was invaded? What tribute more appropriate than that of recording the valour and devotedness of those who stood forth, with ready hands and hearts, to stay the advances of the aggressor, and to inflict the chastisement due to the intruders upon a great nation's repose?
Our arrangements for supplying the Poetical Department are such, that the charms of variety and of intrinsic merit will be found in the offerings which the votaries of song will enable us to present. It is believed that at the close of the present year, (should the Lyceum survive to such a good old age) a collection of native productions will be gathered together, which may be adduced in proof that there is no deficiency either of genius or imagination, even in our own ungenial clime.