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EMBRACE with pleasure the opportunity offered by the commencement of the prefent volume, to offer my moft fincere acknowledgments to my friends and the public, for the indulgence and protection the American Mufeum has experienced,
It began under fingular disadvantages. So far was public opinion against it and fo very confined were the expectations formed of a work which profeffed to be void of originality, and to be, in fome meafure, only a hand-maid to the news-papers, that, at the appearance of the first number, there were not twen1y fubfcribers. This circumftance did not in the leaft difcourage me. fectly fatisfied, that fuch a publication was highly neceffary, and muft prove of ellential fervice to the public-that the want of it had configned many invaluable pieces to oblivion-and that, among an enlightened people, it only required to be known, in order to meet with fuitable encouragement-I looked forward, with confidence, to the day when the lift of fubfcribers' fhould attain that degree of refpectability it now poffeffes, both as to numbers, and the characters that compofe it. My hope, however vifionary it might then appear, has not deceived me.
It is not, I truft, at the prefent time, neceffary to expatiate largely on the falutary tendency of this performance; which feems to be univerfally admitted by those who have infpected it: a few remarks, for those who have not, will fuffice. Whoever examines the paft numbers, will find various effays, written in the most masterly manner, with the most benevolent and patriotic intentions, and as well calculated to promote the happiness of fociety, as likely to answer that important end. Moft of thefe had made their firl appearance in news-papers; and with them had been thrown afide and forgotten, although deferving of the molt careful prefervation. They are now refcued from that unworthy fate: and their good effects are likely to extend beyond the prefent generation. This alone would be fufficient to fatisfy every cand.d perfon of the utility of this undertaking: however, another obfervation yet remains to be made. In the first volume, independent of the fmaller pieces, there have been given feveral entire pamphlets, which, as fold feparately, amount to confiderably more than double the fubfcription for it. For inftance: --Common Senfe*Addrefs to the Armies of Americat-Poem on the Happiness of America -M'Fingal -General Washington's celebrated circular letter -Enquiry into the principles of a commercial fyflem for the united flates and the chief of dr. Ladd's Poems **.
An opinion has been entertained, that it would be impoffible to procure matter fufficient to fupply the work. This opinion is extremely ill-founded, After feven months publication, the materials which I had previously prepar ed, are not perceptibly diminished, to fay nothing of a great accumulation during that period. Moreover, as the plan extends to lectures, orations, and pamphlets-and as it is not confined to writings on any fubject, or of any age or country (although American publications, caeteris paribus, fhall always meet a preference) but has all the literary fores of ancient and mo dern times to range through, there is not the moft diftant reason to appre→ hend a scarcity,
After a careful examination of the various fhoals on which periodical publi cations have been wrecked, in this and other countries, I am in dread of only
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