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Under this conviction, and a heartfelt acquiescence in the justice of the humane axiom, that, IT IS BETTER TO PREVENT CRIMES THAN TO PUNISH THEM,' the publishers of the CHEAP MAGAZINE issued their prospectus to the public, and actuated by the same sentiments they have persevered in bringing their first volume to a conclusion.
Ilow far they have succeeded in their intention, or acquitted themselves of the obligations they came under, it would be unbecoming in them to presume to determine: but, if any estimate may be formed as to the probable magnitude of the good, from the extent of the impression, and wide circulation of their work, they have reason' to think that it has not been inconsiderable; and, if they are permitted to judge by the number of respectable testimonies received in the different stages as they have proceeded, from that of the reverend PRESEYTERY OF DUNBAR on the appearance of the first Number*; to those gratifying sentiments manifested by the author of the
Conversation' in the Supplement, they cannot but conclude that the suffrages of many among the more enlightened and intelligent part of the community have been in their favour, while the poetic tribute of 'A Labourer and Constant Reader,' in the same number, is peculiarly pleasing, as demonstrating more forcibly than any language of theirs could express, the reception the work has met with, and the feelings it has occasioned among
the considerate of that class for whose benefit it was principally intended.
That it should have met with a cordial reception, and been equally well received by all, the publishers could never have expected; for if JESUS CHRIST himself,---who certainly spuke as never man spake, and adopted the most judicious and conciliating deportment, in order to engage the attention of the multitude, - was regarded by one party as having a deyil, and by another as a friend of publicans and sinners, merely
* Extract from Mlinute of the reverend the Presbytery of Dunbar. “ The Presbytery of Dunbar having seen the plan and Prospectus of this work, (The CHEAP MAGAZINE,) are of opinion that if properly conducted, it may be highly useful in promoting Moral
and Religious Instruction; and having read and considered the First Number, which was lately published, they recommend it to all with whom they are connected, as having a happy tendency to enlighten the minds of the lower classes of the community, and lead them to the practice of persor al and relative duties."
Signed (in name and by appointment of the 3d Feb, 1813.
Presbytery) by JAMES STIRLING, Mod,
because his life and conversation did not exactly tally with their imaginary ideas of perfection, what oan they expect from men whose vịces they must (although indirectly) have necessarily attacked, or whose prejudices, they must be supposed to have awakened, who, without pretensions to superior sanctity, or uncommon attainments, have nothing to offer as an apology for their undertaking, more than an earnest desire to do good, and be useful to their fellow-mortals in the way of their profession
.. They have, however, the consolation to reflect, that they have eadecvoured to do their utmost; and that the candid may he enabled to judge how far they have done so, they readily quote what may be considered as the principal of the obligalory part, so far as it respects them, from their original proxectus.
Speaking of the work there announced, it was said: " Its general contents to consist of interesting, instructive, and
amusing Stories or Narratives ; Anecdotes, Memoirs, Essays, Letters; suitable Meditations and Reflections ; Maxims and Advices for the conduct of Life ; useful Hints, Economical Receipts, vuluable Discoveries, important Information ; short Extracts from Books and Sermons of merit ; with occasional pieces of Poetry, &c. The whole adapted to the lowest capacity: calculated to promote the interests of Religion, VIRTUE, and HUMANITY, and to dispel the shades of IGNORANCY, PREJUDICE, and ERROR from among the lower classes of mankind.
“ To be published in Monthly Numbers, at the low price of Foure
pence each, with a Supplementary one at the end of a volume. Every Number to consist of 48 pages, mostly printed with a Lmg Primer Type, on good paper, 12mo. size ; to be ornamented with an Engraving on Wood, and to contain at least one interesting Story or Narrative, particularly calculated to captivate the attention, and excite the emulation of the younger branches of the fumily; the other part to consist of Miscellanemus matter, in studied, variety, consistent with the design of the work, and ending invariably with some select scraps of Poetry. The last, or Supplementary number, besides a Title page to bind up with the volume, was to contain a Chronologisał Table of remarkable Events, ilustrative of the nature of the work, extracted from periodical sources of information in course of the yeur, and an Index to the whole. And in allusion to the nature of its contents, it was stated:
« That no communication but such as has a manifest tendency to
impart just and worthy notions of the DEITY; to recommend the sublime doctrines and important precepts of genuine Christi, enity; to diffuse a spirit of Benevolence and Good Will amongst men; to inspire a love of Virtue and hatred of Vice; to inform the mind in useful Knowledge; to eradicate vulgar Errors, and remove buneful Prejudices ; to cherish and encourage a spirit of Industry, Frugality, and Domestic Economy amongst the lower orders of society-lessen their evils, alleviate the distresses peculiarly attached to their lot, or teach them to hear up with patient Resignation to the will of God under them; or to promote
consistent with the avowed design of the publicae tion, shall obtain a place in their collection."
Now, to these Extracts the publishers of the Cheap Magazine refer with a conscious satisfaction that in some respects, such as the quality of the paper, the number of Cuts, and the manner of execution, particularly in the latter numbers, they rather think they have exceeded their engagements.
One great end and design of this humble performance, it must be always remembered, was to allure the young and thoughtless to a tuste for reading suhjects of real utility in opposia tion to their contraries, as this will afford the best clue to the manner in which the work has been hitherto conducted, and will serve to develope the propriety of the following planviz. to accomplish this desirable purpose, it was judged expedient, not only to bring forward the leading papers of each number in the pleasing and attractive garb of Story, but to study variety as much as possible (consistent with the general design) in their compilation, carefully avoiding any thing of a tedious continued seriousness on the one hand, or bora dering too much on lightness and frivolity on the other, that so by blending innocent amusement with useful instruction, the curiosity of the inconsiderate youth of both sexes might not only be excited, but the attention awakened, kept up, and led as it were imperceptibly from step to step, from something less grave to something more solid, to their present edi. fication and improvement, and towards forming those habits of reading and reflection which are so beneficial in their afterconsequences.
Keeping this object ever in view, it will be observed, that each of the numbers this volume invariably commences with something of an amusing or interesting nature, dreesed up in that form most agreeable and captivating to the juvenile part of its readers. But these, although more particularly calculated to arrest and excite the attention of the youmg,
are by no means to be considered as the most valuable part of their materials; for the Natural Appearances of the res.. pective Months; the beautiful and seasonable reflections which accompany them, tending so happily to impárt proper conceptions of the Deity, and lead men from nature up to nature's God';-the deplorable pictures of Heathenish Superstition, which cannot fail to make the inhabitants of these highly favoured lands more sensible of the blessings they enjoy, where their children are taught, that the most aca ceptable sacrifice to the true God, is to worship him in spirit and in truth ;-thé miscellaneous matter, which, whether original or selected, in order to obtain a place in this collection, must have an uniform tendency to inform the mind or reform the heart ;--the wholesome lessons, precepts and cautions, cone tained in the Cottager's advice to his Daughter ;-the Progress of Genius, which in a continued alphabetical chain serves to illustrate its MOTTO, and holds out motives of coma fort to depressed genius in every situation ;-the many noble Examples for Imitation ;-the Useful Information res. pecting the prevention of, or recovering from Accidents to which the whole of the human race are more or less liable ;-the Economical Receipts ;-important Maxims and Advices;--select and instructive Poetry ;-with the Chronological Table, which like some sage monitor arrests the scholar at the end of his task, and corroborates his lessones by fucts which cannot be disputed-must be read with con
siderable intereet by all classes; and, it is hoped, will make ff the Cheap MAGAZINE an useful Family Depository, and a
valuable Companion to the Fireside, many days hence; for it 'must here bé remarked, that by transferring the state of the markets (the only piece of temporary information) to the covers, the Magazine as it is now published contains nothing but what may be read with advantage, and referred to for the amusement and instruction of youth in all time coming.
This consideration, it is hoped, will serve as an additional stimulus to the great and the affluent who feel interested in the fidelity of their domestics and servants, and in the peace, comfort, and welfare of those more immediately under their care, to give every encouragement to an undertaking which promises such advantages, by a timely and liberal distribua tion of its numbers among the poorer classes of their des pendants and cottars, seeing, that in so doing, they not only confer a present, but a lasting benefit, which may be sensibly felt by generations yet unborn. The time of publi« cation, only once a month, makes the expense so trilling, that it does not exceed (with the Supplementary Number)
one penny per week, while the regularity of its appearance must cherish and keep alive an interest in its contents.
Before they have done, the publishers cannot avoid expressm ing the high-sense they entertain of the very handsome manner in which Dr: WM. Mavor came forward to assist them at the commencement of their undertaking, as well as of the kind assistance they have received from so many other quarters in the execution of their plan in the form of original Communications both in prose and verse, by which, instead of running short of materials, they have been amply supplied beyond the possibility of their narrow limits to contain.The names of some of the authorities to which they are indebted for selections, will be found at the end of the respective quotations, or in the Index; but they must, in a particular manner, acknowledge the obligations they lie under to the Calendar of Nature, by Dr. Aiken, for the Natural Appearances of the different months; to the writings of STURM for the beautiful and seasonable reflections that accompany them, and to Jonas Hanway for the greater part of the Cottager's. Advice to his Daughter ; all of which instead of satiating, will, they trust, give their readers a keener appetite for the productions of these admirable writers.
To the gentlemen who have assisted in promoting the cir. culation, and to those clergymen and masters of seminaries who have been assiduous in recommending the work to those under their charge, the publishers desire to testify their sincere gratitude ;--and to the nobility and gentry who have kindly patronized their humble undertaking ;--to parents, masters, guardians, and heads of families, who have encouraged those under them by their example ;-to the youth of both sexes who have turned their attention to their pages ;-to the industrious tradesman, the ingenious artist, manufacturer or mechanic; the humble cottager and toilsome labourer, who, after having 'borne the burden and heat of the day,' have betaken themselves with delight to their mental repiast, they beg leave to espress their unfeigned thanks, and humbly solicit a continuance of the public favour, while they resume their labours in publishing the second volume, about to be coma menced under very favourable auspices as to literary. aid, and which, with the proposed alterations, it is presumed, will render their little work still more extensively useful among the differe ent classes of society, without overlooking the interests of those, for whose benefit it was at first principally intended. East Lotman PRINTING-Office:
Haddington, December 1813.