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but this censure, we trust, is hardly applicable to us, whose endeavour has been rather to select proper objects for the attention of our readers, than to anticipate their judgment by any censure of our own. Everything that is in excess defeats its own purpose; and the malignant severity of the critic will soon be harmless to all but himself.

Our Retrospective department is formed on the conviction that, while modern books are multiplied without number, there is much still left in the learned volumes of our ancestors that has been put aside by more attractive novelties, or forgotten for want of earlier records, like our own, which could separate the more valuable portions of a work, and point them out to attention, while they as yet formed the literature of the day. Time too stamps its value on things of no intrinsic importance; and many a worthless pamphlet and forgotten tract has become suddenly immortal, by its accidentally throwing light upon a passage of Shakspeare.

As regards our Obituary, (a portion of our Magazine which has always stood high in public estimation,) our memorials of the deceased, and our estimate of their characters, must, from the very nature of the subject, be sometimes less copious than we could wish-in a few instances perhaps erroneous, since we cannot always depend upon our materials; but we can say, that there is no part of our Magazine which is attended to with more punctilious care than this; that we search extensively for the collection of our materials, and that we endeavour to bring the most unbiassed mind to the survey of the characters and lives of those who have earned in different ways an honourable station in the annals of their country.



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