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Slonthly_lifcellany; GENTLEMAN and LADY'S
*I, Jaylor sculp
L O N D ON: Printed for R.SNAGG,N.29,Pater-Nofter Row, R.CRUTTWELL, in Bath, & HODS ON & JOHNSON,
**Was sitting in my elbow chair this afternoon, reflecting with
some anxiety upon the consequences of the late decision I
ng against Literary Property, when Mr. PEARL, the Printer
Se of my Miscellany, came in, and asked me whether I had got my Preface ready.--I must own I was astonished at his question, for I could not imagine that a Preface was any way necessary for a Magazine ; I replied, therefore, (with looks that testified any surprize) that there was no occasion for it;--Mr. PEARL was of a contrary opinion; and seldom chusing to advance what he has not some argument to defend, a Dialogue like the following passed between us.
PE A RL,
PEARL. By no means useless, Sit. ----The world will think but very poorly of any Editor who has nothing to say for himself--and in this case it is particularly necessary; for as the writings of other men compose your whole Miscellany, the readers of it have not the least opportunity of knowing yox.-A Publisher, I think, should certainly take up the pen fometimes, that the world may know he can write, as well as read.
PUBLISHE R. Indeed, that plea may have weight with some kind of people ; but I have no ambition, Mr. Pearl.
PE A RL, That want of ambition, Sir, is now the greatest crime. When you first began the Miscellany, scarce a number appeared, without an Address to the Public. They were of the Preface kind; and I dare say you found the benefit of those Addresses. To them you owe, in great measure, the approbation of those improvements which they pointed out in the Magazine. But I am afraid success has made you rather indolent-for having established your Miscellany in a more extensive sale than any other periodical publication, you are afraid of setting pen to paper—and leave the work to shift for itself-while your Competitors are ransacking their brains for new ideas, and dealing out their own praise in strains that should excite your emulation.
PUBLISH E R. Or rather my contempt, Mr. PEARL. I did, as you say, present my
readers with a fresh Address in every Number. I thanked them for their kind encouragement, and told them I would spend my life in endeavouring to deserve it. Have I been indolent since then ?-Pray tell me where? Has not each number increased in point of goodness, as well as in its sale ?--Have I not engaged Mr. Light at an high price for the Designs, in preference to Mr. Shade, because he was the better Artist? Has not Mr. Scratch also a very great price for his Engravings ?--and is not my defiring you to get a new Type from Mr. Cafon, a proof of my
. attention to the improvement of the work?-to say nothing of my
Silver Medals, or my successful applications to gentlemen who shall be nameless, for their assistance. This is the proper ambition of a Publisher ;-this, Sir, and not writing. My first Addresses were merely Advertisements, to request the favours of the public ; and now my gratitude should be evinced to them—not by words--but by my industry, for their amusement and information. Besides, what now remains to write a Preface on?
PE A RL. Oh!--Plenty, Sir, plenty.-Why the very articles that you have just been mentioning, are matter sufficient for five or fix pages.-And you might with great propriety give a Dedication also. Suppose, for instance, you were to adopt this, which I just wrought off before I came from home ;-there, Sir, you see ʼtis very neatly done.