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FROM JULY TO DECEMBER, 1824.
(BEING THE SEVENTEENTH OF A NEW SERIES.)
PART THE SECOND.
PRODESSE & DELECTARE.
E PLURIBUS UNUM.
By SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
PRINTED BY JOHN NICHOLS AND SON, 25, PARLIAMENT-STREET ;
WHERE LETTERS ARE PARTICULARLY REQUESTED TO BE SENT, POST-PAID ;
AND SOLD BY JOHN HARRIS,
AND BY PERTHES AND BESSER, HAMBURGH.
TO SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
THRO’ the vast regions of unbounded space,
'Tis thine, Sylvanus, to record the flight,
With what fresh triumphs in thy varied page
Heard ye the Knell of Death float on the gale,
The mournful tribute here to Bowdich pay,
Again the Knell sends forth a solemn sound,
Say! why do Gallia's lilies droop and fade ?
But lo! from waves that wash the Sandwich strand
All hail, fair Peace, that smiles on Europe's ground;
Long may her glories, Urban's page reveal.
William RAWLINS. * Gent. Mag. Aug. Nov, and Dec. 1824.
IN presenting our Annual Address, we cannot but express that high gratification which every true patriot must experience, at the progressive prosperity of our native Country. This is the Ninety-fourth year of our literary existence; and on no occasion have we had more cause for congratulating our Readers than at the present period. Great Britain is rapidly approaching to the highest pinnacle of political greatness ; and promises, at no distant æra, not only to surpass in national preeminence all co-existing kingdoms, but even to vie with the most cele: brated empires of antiquity. Her dominion, her commerce, her arts, and her language, are extending over the whole world—from East to West-from the Polar to the Australian Seas. Wielding the trident of Neptune, her fleets sweep the ocean, and her shipping, thus protected, fill every port. To what may we attribute this unrivalled superiority ?- To her matchless Constitution to the wisdom of her Lawsto the native energy of her Sons-and to the glorious spirit of enterprise which now distinguishes her beyond every nation and every age. Let us revert to other States, where a contrary policy is pursued, and what a sad and humiliating picture is presented! Spain, once the arbiter of the Continent, and mistress of the Seas, is now sunk to the lowest grade in the political scale, without the least prospect of amelioration. The Royal Bigot who at present governs the kingdom is completing her irretrievable ruin; for having lost her foreign possessions, and being destitute of internal resources, she must fall an easy prey to the first hostile
Her convents, rosaries, and besotted priests, will present a very feeble barrier against fleets, cannon, and hardy seamen. Italy, once the ruler of the world, but now immerged in the lowest abyss of papal degradation, is in a condition very little superior to Spain. She is the seat of bigotry, ignorance, poverty, and brigandage; and the Sovereign who succeeded to the Pontificate during the last year, seems a worthy compeer of his Most Catholic Majesty! Instead of alleviating the political evils of his country, he commences his reign with anathemas against Bible Societies. He has also issued an absurd and truly papistical bull, which announces a Jubilee at Rome during the year 1825, and invites the faithful to repair to that city, on the occasion, from all quarters of the globe, with full assurance of ample indulgences! What measures against the diffusion of the Gospel and the spread of pure Christianity are then to be concocted, remains to be seen. As the Papal supremacy, like the Mahometan Crescent, is evidently on the wane, at least in political consequence, every means will doubtless be adopted to arrest the progress of knowledge, which has always been considered the bane of priestcraft
and all ghostly tyranny. Indeed it may admit of a question, whether the devotees of the Cross, or the barbarians of the Crescent, will firstlose their political existence in the scale of Europe. We entertain the most sanguine expectations that the Turkish dominion, like the Popish supremacy, will sink into nihility before the approach of knowledge and Christian truth; and the enormous losses which the Crescent has sustained in contests with the brave Greeks during the current year, afford the most cheering hopes of its ultimate expulsion from European soil.
Enjoying the blessings of Peace, and reposing under the victorious laurels of her past deeds, England is not regardless of the advantages that may arise from the cultivation of her internal resources, and the useful arts. The various laudable undertakings for the improvement of the country and the employment of capital, show at once her enterprising spirit and her boundless wealth.-Education, which necessarily excites a desire for literature and science, is now becoming so universal, that it presents one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of society. A new impulse has been given to the popular intellect, and the immense increase of periodical publications and newspapers proves the extent of the reading community.
Adverting to the Contents of the present Part of our Ninety-fourth Volume, we refer with satisfaction to our ample Indexes for a proof of the interesting subjects it embraces. In addition to the ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS, &c. we have introduced 176 Reviews; and the OBITUARY, which will prove of the highest utility to future Biographers, has been in some degree extended.
In justice to ourselves, we cannot conclude this Preface without observing, that some of our articles are frequently copied into periodical publications without the least acknowledgment, and against this unhandsome practice we beg to remonstrate ; but we were lately amused by the editor of a newspaper foisting upon his readers, as matter entirely new, a description of the Officers established in the most notorious Gaming-houses, which was copied from the First Volume of our Work, for the year 1731! We have, however, a serious complaint to prefer against the compiler of the “Annual Biography," whose wholesale piracies, we are confident, are unknown to the respectable proprietors. This literary marauder has absolutely gutted our Obituary without any acknowledgment. He has not confined his merciless shears to pages, but has actually appropriated some scores of Memoirs, consisting of several sheets, to his own use. We have no doubt but an injunction on the volume would readily be granted, or damages obtained at common law; and if this nefarious practice be again pursued, we shall thus be compelled to protect our property.
Dec. 31, 1824.