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juring their fellow-creatures. It is true, their occu. pations would frequently be rather more insipid and less respectable than might be wished.
But since by some unaccountable irregularity in Nature, the lives of men of fashion, although they have so much less to do than other men, are prolonged to fifty or sixty years ; they might unquestionably contrive, by a succession of these little occupations, to pass through this long term far less uncomfortably, than by dividing their time between downright idleness, intem
perance, and vice.
SIR, As far as I can judge of myself, I am a man well entitled to your protection. My mind has been so much employed in projecting schemes for the benefit of mankind, and especially of my fellow-subjects, that I have been totally indifferent to my own affairs. At present I am poor and studious, and yet content that a long life has not passed in altogether an useless manner. In the year one thousand seven hundred and forty-four, the year in which Dean Swift died, I had the honour to present to a great man a list, consisting of three hundred and nineteen new taxes, the greater part of which I perceive have been adopted. I have in manuscript a number of treatises, which might be a load to an ordinary-sized porter,
written in a small character, on a variety of subjects, with abundance of ease and spirit. Having a great part of my life reflected that only three great Epic Poems have appeared in six thousand years, I employed the whole force of my mind to collect into one focus the entire spirit of criticism, which has been, for twenty years past, dissipated and tossed from one great writer to another, without the desired
Had I been prevailed on to publish this, it would have made a volume of five shillings; and I am inclined to think, that, with no other assistance, a man of moderate genius could have composed an Epic Poem with as much speed as a romance.
Another performance of mine is an Essay deducing the degeneracy of present manners from electricity and the feudal system. The one I consider as the first or primary, the other as the promoting and assisting cause. From the latter proceeds the subordination of ranks, and from the former that inundation of feeling which was formerly confined to children, and fine ladies like children, but has now deluged the army,
navy, ministers of state, shoe-blacks, and footmen. The next discourse I call a scheme for reconciling all the sectaries in Great Britain.' But I proceed to mention what at present employs
my thoughts, and what by your means I wish to announce to the public. My hopes of success are founded on the wonderful avidity with which mankind receive weekly and monthly Miscellanies. These are generally good things, translated from the French, copied out of old authors, or altogether new and original, the production of modern writers. My plan is entirely new. I wish to be director in a work of this kind, more adapted than any thing that has yet been published for the improvement of the fair sex. On no account will I admit any but female subscribers--and, excepting in some of the departments
wherein I must toil myself, I will admit of none but female writers; for I incline to have this work altogether perfect, classical, and feminine. I consider this as the winding up of a long life ; and I shall certainly lie down in my grave in more peace,
reflect ing, that I have added to the republic of letters one half of the human species, whom our foolish prejudices have hitherto in a great measure excluded.
I will divide this work into several departments, keeping in mind, however, for whose use and reading it is only intended.
The first shall consist of Foreign Intelligence, and this I doubt not to manage to the satisfaction of my readers. For, having travelled in my youth, there is scarcely a court in Europe, wherein I cannot command a female correspondent to inform me of its gallantries and its fashions. This will greatly enlarge the sphere of female knowledge ; and make scandal, like Cayen pepper in a high-seasoned dish, harmless by spreading it. The slips of a Marchioness abroad will be as familiar as an actress at home ; and the dresses of Russia as much known as those of a birth-day.
This will be occasionally interspersed with books of travels and voyages, in which particular and mi. nute attention will be paid to the marriage ceremonies of distant countries, that being the part of such books which I have generally observed to bear the strongest marks of perusal, when I have at any time had the honour of opening them in a Lady's library.
My next department will consist of Sketches and Interesting Anecdotes of private characters, with the Tea-table Conversations, and the Fashions of the principal towns in Great Britain.
I will give names at full length; both to serve as a necessary check on the dissoluteness of manners, and to preclude an improper application. To my. tea-table dialogues I will add a Dictionary of French phrases, and words of the latest introduction, to assist those of my readers who have not as yet arrived at much perfection in that excellent part of education. But my great intention in this department is, to enable
fair readers to be in and out of the mode in all parts of Great Britain precisely at the same time. And although in my own private judgment I think I ought to publish my Miscellany only once a month ; yet if, from humour or taste, or the quick succession of customs and modes, this is not thought sufficient to answer the various purposes of my work, I will at all times cheerfully submit to a reasonable number of my subscribers. That my publication may not be deficient in any embellishment or illustration which other works of the same kind furnish to their readers, plates will be given, from drawings by the best masters and mistresses, of the different articles of dress most approved in the fashionable world. As in books of Architecture, there are elevations of fronts and back-fronts, sections of arches and abutments, designs for frizes, stucco-cornices, and pilasters; so, in my Miscellany, similar assistances will be given to the artists of the female figure, and the inventors of female decoration.
The third division of my intended Miscellany will be a section for Female Essayists; and I hope to make a proper, spirited, and entertaining choice. I will occasionally admit little affecting histories, to animate the female world to virtuous and worthy deeds. Nor will it be less necessary for this laudable purpose, sometimes to record bad, as well as good actions, imprudencies and levities, as well as wise and discreet conduct. In this, I must own, I shall only have the merit of following the example set me by several of those works which are professedly
written for the instruction of the female world. And indeed, how can ladies be instructed in morals, unless they know every side of the question? or how be taught to avoid the snares and dangers of the world, unless they are let into the whole secret of their effects and operation ? A Critical Review of Books will be
fourth. But here I have not the most distant thought of intermeddling with the property of some worthy men, whom I honour and esteem.. Books of Humour or of Philosophy, Belles Lettres, and History, if they be not the production of one who is, or may become my subscriber, I will not criticise. God forbid that I should presume to think myself qualified to judge and decide concerning the merit of all sorts of books. I will confine my remarks to Novels and Plays, reserving to myself the liberty of dipping into the softest kind of Poetry ; and even in this I will endeavour to avoid two things wherein my low-labourers in this harvest have frequently erred. In the first place I will on no account give the character of a book, unless it has had the approbation of the public for a dozen years at least. Singular as this may appear to be, it was the practice of the best ancient critics. And besides abridging my own labour, it will much abridge that of others : for I myself, led to think favourably of a book by a fair character in an old Review, have
ade a tedious and fruitless search for it in both public and private libraries. Secondly, For the most part I will give my opinion in the way of specimen and extract only. I reluctantly censure an association of men, who have so often, and so justly, deserved well of mankind; but at all times I must speak truth. And I am forced to say, that
bre. thren, in criticising various departments of Literature, have written such good sentences of their own, as