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Whatever may be the public reception of our Miscellany, its plan is equally laudable and liberal. Our work is inscribed to the Gentleman, the Scholar, the Philosopher, the Merchant, the Manufacturer, and the Man of the World.
It is proposed to preserve in The Port Folio Sketches of Original Character, Narratives of Memorable Events, and of every thing remarkable, occurring in the vicissitudes of the times. To these crude materials our accomplished associates, disdaining the vulgar track, can give both a body and a soul. They can display not only industry and accuracy, but genius and taste. In a style of elegance, they can show all the adroitness of abridgment, and perfect skill in the classing, grouping, and tinting of objects, which inferior artists might despair even to sketch.
A department of The Port Folio will exhibit a Gallery of the Portraits of Great Men. I han Biography, nothing is more fascinating, nothing more instructive, nothing that is perused with greater avidity, or that excites a stronger interest. The lives of the illustrious in our own country, and the mighty mass of foreign Biography, will always furnish excellent entertainment to the most fastidious reader.
Characters, well portrayed, would challenge a fixed attention; and America, as well as Europe, contains a multitude of originals.
Remarkable Trials, Law Reports, and Pleadings of a peculiarly entertaining, interesting, and eloquent character, would not only edify the Gentlemen of the Bar, but may be selected with so much taste and judgment as to amuse the mere miscellaneous reader.
The Epistolary Correspondence of men of literary eminence may form a very agreeable article.
The Drama will, sometimes, attract our attention.
Papers on topics of Moral and Physical Science, Rural Economy, Useful Projects, Miscellaneous Essays, Romantic Adventures, Tours and Travels, Foreign and Domestic Literature, Criticism and Poetry, Levity, Merriment, Wit and Humour, will variegate this Journal.
To please the Ladies, we shall take care to arrange occasionally The Toilet of Fashion,
A Meteorological Journal, an Agricultural Report, and Notices of Marriages and Deaths, under the heads of Nuptial and Obituary, will be attended to.
To fill this comprehensive outline, many pencils are requisite, and we have engaged the artists. Their subjects are numerous and their colours are brilliant. Genius, like that of Sir Joshua Reynolds, is not a stranger to our Literary Circle. If to that commanding Power, indefatigable Industry be associated, the liberal Public will sufficiently appreciate the labour. We appeal to America.
For THEE remains to prove what radiant fires
From all the impulses of Gratitude, as well as all the principles of Admiration, the Editor has insisted, with emphasis, on the talents and liberality of his associates in this enterprise. As it has been nobly expressed, on another occasion, Generosity always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed. The kindness of the Editor's friends has included every circumstance that can gratify Delicacy, or enforce Obligation. They voluntarily conferred favours on a man, who has neither alliance, nor interest, who has not merited them by services, nor courted them by officiousness: they have spared him the shame of solicitation, and the anxiety of suspense.
On the stage of critical scrutiny, this is not the Editor's first appearance. On this occasion, though he is not oppressed by morbid terror, he feels all the emotions of an adventurer's solicitude. By the benignity of the Public, he has often been received with a degree of favour, equal to his hopes, and more than his merits. To that Public, in the last resort, must the apostrophe of an author be addressed. In the shape of a fawring publican, or a sobbing mendicant, he does not approach his Judges, but he comes forward, with a firm step, in the guise of a Cavalier, and a
man of letters, anxious to please the Polite and the Learned, the Witty and the Fair.
And confident of praise, IF PRAISE BE DUE,
The price of The Port Folio, though the quantity of matter will be augmented, will continue as usual at Six Dollars per annum; with this deviation from a former rule, that we shall not demand the subscription-money, until the expiration of the year.
The Work will be embellished with elegant engravings.
BY E. BRONSON, AND OTHERS,
FOR PUBLISHING BY SUBSCRIPTION, A NEW PERIODICAL WORK
TO BE ENTITLED,
SPIRIT OF THE FOREIGN MAGAZINES.
IN offering to the Patronage of their countrymen an agreeable and useful compilation, the editors will seize the occasion to say a few words, explanatory of their views.
It is gratifying to remark that the periods of national annals, on which the historian delights to dwell, are those in which the field of literature has attained its highest degree of cultivation; for, it is then that a state has reached a point of glory and splendour, where it may indeed long repose, but which it is never destined to pass. The student loves to linger on those scenes of tranquil refinement, when the profession of arms has yielded to the study of letters, and the rough features of war have been softened by the milder influence of the imagination. It is more pleasant to dwell upon the lessons of Aristotle, than on the conquests of Alexander; upon the eloquence of Pericles, and the history of Thucydides, than on the battles which they fought, or the victories which they gained. The Augustan age of Rome has obscured the conquests of her Scipios, and among her descendants the names of her heroes are forgotten, while the literary splendour of the house of Medici still illumines the world. The martial fame of Essex is heard of no more; but the glory of Spencer and Shakspeare