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In continuing our work another year, we have only to say that we shall pursue the plan which we have heretofore announced, and which, we believe, our readers have generally approved.
Our main object, as we have said, is to collect and diffuse useful and entertaining information relating to the History of our State, (including of course its biography, and other appendages,) from the earliest period to the present time. Our first business, accordingly, is to gather up and give out all the partial memorials, fugitive pieces, and other writings, any where extant, that may serve to recall the "form and pressure" of the ancient Past; and we freely confess that we have a strong affection for this service. At the same time, we must say again, that we are not exactly antiquaries, (as some would have us,) but only lovers of historic lore. We have no thought, certainly, of going out of the warm and sensible world around us, to bury ourselves amidst the rubbish of antiquity—to dote upon dust-or to muse over the mouldering bones, and other precious remains, which may still be found in the old family vault of departed Time. These things, we admit, have their value and their interest in our eyes; but they are by no means
particularly agreeable to our taste, and we readily leave them to those who have more leisure, and a stronger passion to enjoy them. Our proper business, we take it, is rather with those parts and points of our past history which have been active and effective in producing the present state of things, and which therefore deserve. to be remembered and considered by all our citizens,
It is true, we believe with Carlyle, that "the leafy blossoming Present Time springs from the whole Past, remembered and unrememberable;" but we are also disposed with him to "distinguish well," as he advises, "between what still reaches to the surface, and is alive and frondent (or frondiferous) for us; and what no lon ger reaches to the surface, but moulders safe under ground, never to send forth leaves or fruit for mankind any more." The former we shall gather up with zealous care; the latter we shall leave to rest where it lies. In short, we do not purpose to go out of the Present into the Past, to become resident there, (as antiquaries do,) but we only intend to go back a little to bring up the rear guard of the Past, which has been left too far out of sight in this rapid "march of mind," in order to reinforce and aid the Present in its still onward progress of improvement, and to conspire with it to form and fashion the Future into all those finer shapes and fancies of grace and beauty which, under the care of a wise and gracious Providence, we may fondly hope it will hereafter display. This, we say, is our proper purpose; and in this service we shall trust that many of our friends and fellow-citizens-especially the more intelligent and patriotic among them-will cordially unite with us, and give us all the aid that we may fairly require.
But while we are thus attending more particularly to
the Past, we shall always have an eye to the present and passing scene. We shall, accordingly, look out now and then from the "loop-holes of our retreat," upon the movements of the living age, and endeavor to catch some slight sketches of the volatile picture before us, on the little camera obscura at our hand. Without a figure, we shall hope to furnish some occasional notices of current events or speculations upon them-to serve as hints for the future history of our State. It is true, that with our present scanty space, these notices must be few and brief; but they may still be of some little use, perhaps, for reference hereafter.
We must add, that we purpose also to give our readers, if possible, a little more literary and miscellaneous matter hereafter, than we have done heretofore. We intend, more particularly, to furnish them with some Specimens of Early English Poets, and Leaves from Old Authors-cotemporaries of our fathers at different periods of our history-which we think they may find agree, able, both for illustration and relief. At the same time, we shall continue to favor them with any fair samples of our own writers, both in prose and poetry, that we may be able to obtain; and we hope, in this way, to aid the cause of Polite Letters in our State,
For the rest, we have only to thank our correspondents for their past favors, and to solicit their continued aid. It is true we have a good stock of provisions on hand to furnish our table (of contents) for some time; but we shall still need a constant supply of fresh articles of various sorts, that the tastes of our guests "studious of change," and "pleased with novelty" as well as with antiquity, may "be indulged" and gratified.