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TO THE PUBLIC.
THE EDITOR, as he proceeds in an arduous adventure, perceives more clearly every hour, the impossibility of giving universal satisfaction. Indeed, in the wildest of his rereveries, he never dreamed of pleasing the million. It is not for them that he writes, no, not a single paragraph. With their absurd and clashing requisitions no man, however ductile, can comply.
If I answer all the letters I receive, says some philosopher, no mortal will be so full of business. If I do not, they will say I am disdainful and insolent. If I censure, I shall be an odious critic; if I praise, a nauseous flatterer.
In those ingenious apologues which are commonly ascribed to the fabulist of Phrygia, there is one of such pithy sententiousness, and of such profound wisdom, of a character so just, and of a conclusion so true, that, without any violent stretch of Fancy, one might easily imagine that the Sage, its author, had been either the chief magistrate of a commonzvealth, or, what is more probable, the conductor of some Phrygian Evening Post, or Grecian Miscellany! The picturesque fable, to which we allude, has been coarsely translated a thousand times, and, in its rudest shape, in elementary books of instruction, is familiar even to Childhood. But, as our friends the lawyers say, as it is a case in point, we shall assume the liberty of quoting it once more, but in a form so finely fashioned after the pure models of Phædrus and La Fontaine, that the most fastidious reader will peruse it with smiles.
A sire and son, as once we're told,
The father, trudging, leads the ass,
He beats the hoof, you sit astridie.
The lad, by no means void of grace,
Old Dapple next compassion drevo,
After they shall have finished the perusal of this tale, we trust that our subscribers will be in ample possession of two facts : the jarring counsels, that are impertinently given by others, and the independent and decisive style which we choose for ourselves. For more than fifteen years we have published, in periodical pages, our sentiments, in complete defiance of the choice or the dictation of the many. In this path we shall persevere ; and, while the editor obtains the partial suffrage of gentlemen, scholars, and Christians, he is most contemptuously careless of the vulgar voice. · 3
If he can proudly number one man of genius, spirit, and virtue for his friend, he does not shrink at discovering every fool in the commonwealth his enemy.
It is expected by many that, during the Christmas holydays, an editor should make his appearance in the character of a servant, and make some complimentary speeches to his audience. To pursue the allusion, the noisy and stupid galleries still bellow out, “ Make your bow, Charley ;” and even the rest of the house look for a fine flourish or two. But, on this occasion, we disdain all grimaces ; and though the editor's courtesy, as a cavalier, forbids him to look contemptuously, or turn his back upon the pit and Boxes, yet, even to them, he makes neither a bow nor an apology. With very limited physical, and still more limited mental Power, he is conscious he has achieved but little ; but it was all that Nature and Fortune would allow. Having finished his annual toil, he may now be permitted, like a cheerful labourer, to go carolling home, without any grumbling to de's precate, and NOTHING BUT JUSTICE TO DEMAND.
The price of The Port Folio is six dollars per annum
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