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are allowed to be diffused, has been uniformly felt and acknowledg ed, even where they are restricted by authority or usage, in the choice of topics and range of speculation. They have, in their worst administration, been compared, and not without reason, to a battery, in which the stroke of any one ball may produce no great effect, but the amount of continual repetition is decisive. Their influence, whether for good or evil, has never been, in any country, so signal and extensive, as in these United States, where they constitute a part of the reading of all, and the whole reading of the majority of citizens. They have served as universal channels of theory and fact, to the exclusion of almost every mode of publication; they have raised and demolished parties; made and destroyed reputations: and it does not seem to have interfered with their success, when the writers have been either unknown, or held in contempt for their profligateness or illiteracy. Owing to the abuse of editorship, too often usurped by the most incompetent yet presumptuous adventurers, under the sway of the most despicable passions-they have not the same absolute ascendant among us as heretofore. But they still exert an unrivalled influence, and possess a monopoly of the public mind and interest, evinced in the miscarriage of most of the attempts which have been made to establish other kinds of periodical journals; and in the limited circulation and effect of such of these as survive, as well as of pamphlets, books, and volumes of whatever tenor and aim.
Setting aside political deficiencies and delinquencies, several exceptions may be taken, to the management of the American press, which are not, we fear, as important in the public estimation as in reality. The first which we would remark is-that mere domestic politics and occurrences, municipal concerns and personal interests, absorb too large a share of the attention of editors, and of the space in their papers left unoccupied by advertisements. The circumstances which we have alleged in the first and second paragraphs of this address, make it highly desirable, and entitle the public to require and expect, that general principles in morals, government, and political economy; science and its discoveries; literature and its productions; the political and social affairs of the foreign world, particularly as they may have relation and reciprocal influence with our own-should be more fully and carefully reported and discussed.
The intemperate practice which had become a predominant habit with our daily prints, of heaping unqualified abuse upon some foreign nations, and unqualified panegyric upon others, is now nearly worn out, either from a general perception of its extravagance and mischief, or from the vicissitudes of European affairs. We may expect that it will at no time be readmitted; at least not in the same excess: and there is no doubt that the bulk of Americans are deeply impressed, by a severe, unequivocal experience, with the imprudence of allowing any foreign nation to ingratiate herself with them under cover of particular principles or affinities;-to cast them into parties intent and even doating upon the preponderance of her power and reputation over those of a rival neighbour. None, we believe, will ever hereafter, prevail so far, in warping their feelings and understanding. And, while, therefore, little necessity for representations against a recurrence of the evil, has of late existed, yet
we can indicate a duty in the intercourse of the press between Europe and America, which still remains to be discharged. We mean an unremitting watchfulness over European publications, especially those of Britain, in regard to the slanders and misconceptions respecting the American character and institutions, with which they abound. Every such invasion of malice and ignorance should be noted and repelled in the American gazettes, without delay; not, perhaps, so much for the purpose of rectifying opinion abroad, as for that of counteracting the weight which is, most unnaturally and preposterously, allowed at home, to European judgments however disparaging and invidious.
The chief of the expedients which we propose to use in combating the delusions of the day, is TO CULTIVATE THE MEMORY OF THE REVOLUTION. The example of its leaders and the manifesto of principles contained in the Declaration of Independence, are eminently adapted, and perhaps, if steadily kept in view, abundantly sufficient, to maintain the spirit of freedom in due vigour and vigilance, and to direct the exertions needful in defence of human rights, and the welfare of posterity.
Another cardinal rule of action with us, will be to investigate the merits of men as well as of principles. It is therefore we have reversed the apophthegm, by conjoining them in our motto. The separation of them has become in some degree popular, on account of the inordinate attention and importance which were, during a certain period, allotted to men, in our politics; of the unbounded license of enquiry and representation which was indulged as to their lives and characters; and the envenomed scurrility with which they were assailed on every side. We shall be far from imitating such excesses, or subjecting ourselves to the reproach of wanton or malicious personality. But we are inclined to think, that the American people have run into an extreme of forbearance and confidence as to those whom they have raised to the high posts of state. Because opposition or criticism has been selfish, coarse, or undistinguishing, it is no reason, that every symptom of either at present, should be discountenanced or distrusted. If the great federal or state functionaries shew themselves incompetent or unworthy; if they lie under injurious, degrading suspicions, or stand in the way of candidates notoriously more able and reputable-it ought not to be deemed factious or harsh to expose their demerits and protest against their continuance in office. It is, moreover, the right and duty of republican voters, to enquire not only what the man is whom they would exalt to power, but how he stands connected,-what are the principles and designs of the men with whom he has the closest relations.
We have intimated our sense of the propriety of frequently entertaining in the newspapers, questions of public economy. Under this head we refer particularly to internal improvements in the common acceptation of the phrase. These are, eventually, productive of so much gain, comfort, and embellishment, that there is scarcely any present exertion and expense which their certain effects would not seem to warrant. The promotion of them is, doubtless, one of the most substantial of public services; and the citizen of whatever calling, who labours efficaciously to this end, is entitled to a high rank on the list of public benefactors. A most sagacious and happy
emulation in this matter begins to prevail among several of be principal members of the Union. Our humble endeavours shall not be wanting to enforce the usefulness and dignity of that emulation; to quicken its spirit and ascertain its true objects.
Among the objects which appertain, properly if not technically, to the topic of internal improvements, lettered education deserves to be designated as the most important and fruitful. The face of those divisions of the Union, where it has been most encouraged and widely spread-especially when contrasted with that of the States in which it has been comparatively neglected and confinedfurnishes striking evidence of its prolific and organic power, in regard to all public, physical convenience and advancement. Similar illustration is not wanting among us, of its influence upon the moral being of society; the grace and welfare of private life; the credit and rank of states; and of its agency in the creation of that diffusive spirit of order and reflection, without which there can be no secure tenure for republican institutions, or even for national independence. A principle so pervading, operative, and salutary; now invested with these attributes by the common voice, wherever human experience is the most ample, and human reason the most mature and authoritative-ought to be frequently handled for the American public; and no fact or disquisition tending to afford it due scope, and to keep alive the sense of its importance, can fail to be welcomed into our pages.
In this country of freedom and equal privilege, we would have all the higher branches of knowledge, respected and cherished, (though not in the same degree) as necessary to maintain us on a level in mental power, dignity, and elegance, with the monarchical nations; as, in fact, of a nature to yield more solid and brilliant fruits under the American institutions and order of society, than under any other which have existed. Editors who bring these impressions to their task, will themselves feel, and will strive to excite in the public, a lively interest in the concerns of learned societies and collegiate establishments, and in the new works of literature or science issued abroad or at home, as they may affect either the principles, judgments, or taste of their countrymen.
The mechanical parts of our plan are as follows-the publication of a paper twice a week, until such patronage be obtained as shall enable us to give a daily sheet-the paper to contain the most important foreign and domestic intelligence, political, scientific, and literary; original paragraphs and essays upon all subjects connected with the public weal; literary criticisms; businessadvertisements, &c. For these objects we respectfully solicit the aid of the public. All communications made to us will receive an attentive perusal, and if not thought proper for insertion, be carefully returned. The closest secrecy will be at the same time observed, when it may be required on any point, by our correspondents. We would add, that we shall receive with thankfulness whatever may be of advantage to household morals and disciplinedidactic pieces calculated particularly for artisans and others engaged in manual industry-suggestions tending to the improvement of charitable and other public foundations; to that of the liberal and mechanical arts, of municipal regulations, &c. &c.