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information upon the most interesting subjects which is scattered through the work, and which, it may be said without vanity, because the fact has been universally admitted, render its numerous volumes a general repository of intelligence-a kind of inexhaustible store-house, as it were-of materials for History, Antiquities, and Biography, even if Science and Art may not also be included.
The collections for History may be divided into that which is contemporaneous with the respective volumes, and that which relates to much earlier periods. For some time after the commencement of the Magazine, its character was more political than at present; and the volumes were for many years remarkable for the Debates of both Houses of Parliament. To those Debates particular allusion is made, because the Gentleman's Magazine was the first Journal that dared to risk the punishment of a breach of the privilege of Parliament, by reporting its proceedings, thus setting the example of enabling Constituents to know how their Representatives speak and act. So important was the precedent, that Newspapers soon imitated the plan; and when more accurate reports were given by the daily press than the limits of the Magazine rendered possible, the system was adopted of stating in a very abridged form the most material occurrences in Parliament; but the honour of being the first person who incurred the danger of fearful penalties for printing the Debates, belongs to Cave, the original editor, and which is alone sufficient to entitle his memory to respect.
From the appearance of the first number of this Miscellany to the present time, scarcely a single memorable event, of any kind, domestic or foreign, has occurred of which a notice is not to be found; and the value of such a general record, either for amusement or for higher purposes, is too obvious to be insisted upon.
To History and Antiquities, and more especially to whatever is connected with our own country, a large proportion of each volume has beon dedicated. Upon various abstruse points in our annals, dissertations and facts, more or less valuable, occur ; and those who are acquainted with the nature of historical materials can testify to the utility of collecting scattered memorials, many of which, from being local, might not have come to the knowledge of historians but for the publicity thus given to them. In plates and descriptions of Antiquities, by which is meant ancient buildings, carvings, seals, rings, medals, and other remains of former ages, the Magazine is peculiarly rich, it being a common practice for the individuals by whom they were discovered, to transmit accurato drawings of the respective articles, most of which have been fully illustrated by other correspondents. The collection on
this subject may be safely pronounced unrivalled, and forms data for an important volume. On the subsidiaries, or as they are termed “ Handmaids," of History, namely, Architecture, Heraldry, and Genealogy, as well as in relation to the Arts, and Early Literature, much information may be found; and perhaps one of the most interesting departments is that in which light is thrown on the descent of illustrious families, where their rise, decline, and fall are traced, affording, in many instances, striking examples of the instability of human greatness. The Literary Antiquary has always found a source of amusement and instruction in the numerous papers on early writers, particularly Poets, the works of many of whom have been elucidated in the most satisfactory
It is for Biography, however, that the value of the Gentleman's Magazine is most remarkable. There is scarcely an eminent individual of this Country, about whom some information is not to be obtained ; and it may be said without fear of refutation, that there is not a literary person of the last or present century, whose life could be properly written without reference to its volumes. Many of their earliest productions are contained in them, and the poetical niches were often filled with the first aspirations of a Muse, which afterwards soared to the highest pinnacle of fame. Unfortunately the authors of many of the beautiful pieces which occur in the first twenty volumes are not known, but the merit of the articles would justify their being collected and republished, leaving it to critics' to assign them to the great names to which they unquestionably belong. The Obituary has long possessed the highest reputation; and the best evidence of its value is the copious manner in which the statements are transferred to other publications. From Politics the Magazine has gradually receded; but whenever political opinions are expressed, they indicate an undeviating adherence to Church and State, a warm attachment to the Crown, Laws, Establishments, and Religion of our country, a distrust of theoretical experiments upon what the experience of ages has taught us to reverence, an abhorrence of the fanciful ravings of enthusiasts, religious or political, and a desire to préserve unchanged those Institutions of our forefathers, under which England has acquired the highest renown among nations.
To these remarks on the long series of past volumes, all which will be added is, that their contents are rendered available, and that the scattered information upon any one subject may be instantly collected, by means of the highly valuable Indexes, not only for each year, but which are digested into five separate volumes, ably classed, and arranged. With this assistance the Gentleman's Magazine forms in itself an Encyclopedia
(BEING THE TWENTY-THIRD OF A NEW SERIES.)
PART THE FIRST.
PRODESSE & DELECTARE.
E PLURIBUS UNUM.
By SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
PRINTED BY.J. B. 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.
LIST OF EMBELLISHMENTS.
(7'hose marked thus * are Vignelles printed with the letler-press ]
View of the House at Paris, in front of whicb Henri Quatre was assassinated.
17 Church and Tower of Dundry, co. Somerset .
. 105 Paintings on Pavel from Tavistock Church.
113 *Representation of Capt. Clapperton's Funeral Ceremony.
132 *Specimens of African Tattooing..
161 Alms-Houses at Mitcham, Surrey
201 Percy Mununsent at Beverley, co. York......
209 Remains of the Sun of the Prior of Lewes, Southwark
.297 Representations of ancient Seals and miscellaneous Antiquities ; viz. Seal of
George Rygmayden, of Tho. Dene, Prior of Exeter; one found at Winchester,
305 Lambeth Palace, as it appeared in the Autumn of 1829..
393 *Gate-house of Lambeth Palace.. Gower's Monument in S1. Saviour's Church, Southwark..
401 *Stone Coffin in St. Martin's Church-yarı, Salisbury...
407 *Painted Glass at St. Thomas's Church, Salisbury..
409 Seal of Tavistock Abbey, Betsy Grimbalu's Tower, and Sepulchral Vestiges preserved at the Vicarage, Tavistock....
489 Wanstead House, Essex..
497 St. John's Chapel, Walbam Green, Fulham....
577 Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, Middlesex..
.. ib. *Norman Arches in the Chapter-house of Bristol Cathedral.
+ It has been suggested by a friend, that this is one of those clasps by which books were anciently fastened with a thong; the ring at the end or the bule at ibe back might be placed on a pin fixed to one of the sides of the book, as required by the bulk or louneness of tbe contents.
The Binder will please to cancel pp. 531-532 nf June Magazine.