Page images
[ocr errors][merged small]

WILLIAM R. PETERS, No. 89 Nassau-street, New York,

proposes to publish, (if sufficient encouragement shall be obtained,) a new Periodical, to be denominated

[blocks in formation]

The design of this Publication will be to present to American readers, in the most economical and available form, most of what is truly excellent on the great variety of topics and discussions which constitute the current Periodi, cal Literature of all Foreign countries. It will be compiled from a selection of the best articles and passages in the most important Foreign Quarterlies and other Periodicals, Literary, Scientific, Political, Religious, Biblical, Theologi. cal, Historical, Geographical, Philosophical, Mechanical, Philological, Critical and Professional. Articles and passages thus selected will be accompanied, when judged to be necessary, with Editorial remarks, introductory and explanatory, to put the reader in possession of the occasion, progress and bearings of each discussion and topic of research,

The Periodical publications in Great Britain and on the Continent of Europe are quite too numerous and expensive to be within the reach of American readers, excepting where they are accumulated in the Libraries of wealthy Societies and Institutions. An individual can seldom avail himself of more than one or two of the number; and these are often

found to be of a local, or sectarian, or party character, and afford him but a very partial and inadequate view of the current general literature of the old world. And even if the whole were accessible by each individual of our intelligent countrymen, the readers of Foreign Periodicals need not be told that the mass of what they contain is light and trifling, or prosing and dull, or local and sectarian, or of bad moral tendency, or, at least, irrelevant to the pursuits of American citizens and scholars.

The indiscriminate circulation, therefore, in this country, of Foreign Periodicals, should be deprecated as an evil. The best of them are scarcely worthy of being reprinted entire for American readers ; because much of

what they contain is on common-place topics, (perhaps better understood by ourselves,) and is second rate in point of talent and research, and not worthy to take the place of our own more able discussions. But many of the works referred to contain much that is truly valuable, much that surpasses the productions of our own writers on the same or similar topics. It would seem indispensable, therefore, if we would avail ourselves of the best advantages to be derived from the Periodical literature of all Foreign countries, that some plan be adopted to select and preserve the good and cast the bad away." Such a plan the Editor proposes to adopt in conducting the Eclectic.

It cannot be doubted that, from materials so ample and excellent as exist in the mass of Foreign Periodicals, a work may be compiled which will be worthy of a place in the current reading of every educated family, and in the library of every American scholar.

This work, while it will exclude what is trifling or pernicious, will be the advocate of no particular school or class of views in any of its departments. Of disputed questions, it will present the most able and thorough discussions on both sides, but will not assume the advocacy of either. every topic to which it shall be extended, its object will be to furnish the reader with the best materials for the formation of his own opinions. By a strict adherence to these principles, the Editor and his associates hope to make a compilation from the mass of Foreign Literature, which will be equally acceptable to scholars and liberal-minded men of all professions.

It may be hoped, also, that a work, conducted on these principles, with suitable care and research, exhibiting only the best specimens of thought and expression to be gleaned from the field of the Foreign Periodicals, will exert an important influence in elevating the tone and character of our own Literature. As far as our writers are ambitious to imitate the style of the Foreign Journals and Reviews, it is important that they be furnished with the best models.

On the whole, therefore, it cannot be doubted that the plan bere proposed, if well executed and sufficiently encouraged, will furnish a facility, which could be attained in no other way so well, to the correct understanding of the most important and interesting topics and discussions which constitute the whole progressive world of Foreign Literature, Science and Art.

This Prospectus is issued, not with the absolute assurance that the plan proposed will be adequately encouraged.

The work will not be commenced until a sufficient num. ber of subscribers shall have been obtained to ensure its support. Its plan is, therefore, respectfully submitted to our numerous readers and correspondents, and to the friends, in general, of a sober, practical, elevated and instructive Ainerican Literature.

It is hoped that sufficient encouragement will be afforded to justify the publication of the first No. of the Work, early in July next, so that one Volume may be completed within the current year.

If commenced, it will be issued bi-monthly, on the first days of July, September, November, January, March and May, making six Nos. a year, of 204 pages each, and two Volumes of more than 600 pages each. It will be printed in the type of this prospectus, on an enlarged page, and the amount of reading will be nearly double that of the American Biblical Repository, and other Original Five Dollar Quarterlies.

The price will be Five DOLLARS per annum, in advance, or Six Dollars, if delayed till after the delivery of the second No.

No payments are desired until the result of this appeal shall have been fully ascertained. Then, if the work is un

« PreviousContinue »