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Among these Candidates of inferiour Fame, I am now to ftand the Judgment of the Publick, and wifh that I could confidently produce my Commentary as equal to the Encouragement which I have had the Honour of receiving. Every Work of this Kind is by its Nature deficient; and I fhould feel litt e Solicitude about the Sentence, were it to be pronounced only by the Skilful and the Learned.
HE public may juftly require to be informed of the Nature and Extent of every Design, for which the Favour of the Publick is openly folicited. The Artists, who were themselves the first Projectors of an Exhibition in this Nation, and who have now contributed to the following Catalogue, think it therefore neceffary to explain their Purpose, and juftify their Conduct. An Exhibition of the Works of Art, being a Spectacle new in this Kingdom, has raifed various Opinions and Conjectures among thofe who are unacquainted with the Practice in foreign Nations. Thofe who fet out their Performances to general View, have been too often confidered as the Rivals of each other, as Men actuated, if not by Avarice, at leaft by Vanity, and contending for Superiority of Fame, though not for a pecuniary Prize. It cannot be denied or doubted, that all who offer themfelves to Criticism are defirous of Praise; this Defire is not only innocent, but virtuous, while it is undebased by Artifice, and unpolluted by Envy; and of Envy or Artifice these Men can never be accused, who, already enjoying all the Honours and Profits of their Profeffion, are content to stand Candidates for public Notice, with Genius yet unexperienced, and Diligence yet unrewarded; who, without any Hope of increafing their own Reputation or Intereft, expose their Names and their Works only that they may furnish an Opportunity of Appearance to the
Young, the Diffident, and the Neglected. The Purpose of this Exhibition is not to enrich the Artifts, but to advance the Art; the Eminent are not flattered with Preference, nor the Obfcure infulted with Contempt, whoever hopes to deserve public Favour, is here invited to difplay his Merit.
Of the Price put upon this Exhibition fome Account may be demanded. Whoever fets his Work to be fhewn, naturally defires a Multitude of Spectators; but his Defire defeats its own End, when Spectators affemble in fuch Numbers as to obftruct one another. Though we are far from wishing to diminish the Pleafures, or depreciate the Sentiments of any Clafs of the Community, we know, however, what every one knows, that all cannot be Judges or Purchafers of Works of Art: yet we have already found by Experience, that all are defirous to fee an Exhibition. When the Terms of Admis fion were low, our Room was thronged with such Multitudes as made Accefs dangerous, and frightenened away thofe whofe Approbation was most defired.
Yet, because it is feldom believed that Money is got but for the Love of Money, we fhall tell the Ufe which we intend to make of our expected Profits.
Many Artifts of great Abilities are unable to fell their Works for their due Price; to remove this Inconvenience, an annual Sale will be appointed, to which every Man muft fend his Works, and fend them if he will without his Name. Thefe Works will be reviewed by the Committee that conduct the Exhibition. A Price will be fecretly fet on every Piece, and registered by the Secretary. If the Piece expofed is fold for more, the whole Price fhall be the Artist's; but if the Purchaser's Value it at less than the Committee, the Artift fhall be paid the Deficiency from the Profits of the Exhibition.
In which is delineated what a NEWS-PAPER may and ought to be.
T has always been lamented, that of the little Time allotted to Man, much must be fpent upon Superfluities. Every Profpect has its Obftructions which we must break to enlarge our View: Every Step of our Progrefs finds Impediments, which however eager to go forward we must stop to remove. Even thofe who profefs to teach the Way to Hap. piness, have multiplied our Incumbrances, and the Authour of almost every Book retards his Inftructions by a Preface.
The Writers of the Chronicle hope to be easily forgiven, though they fhould not be free from an Infection that has feized the whole Fraternity, and inftead of falling immediately to their Subjects, fhould detain the Reader for a Time with an Account of the Importance of their Defign, the Extent of their Plan, and the Accuracy of the Method which they intend to profecute. Such Premonitions, though not always neceffary when the Reader has the Book complete in his Hand, and may find by his own Eyes whatever can be found in it, yet may more eafily be allowed to Works published gradually
gradually in fucceffive Parts, of which the Scheme can only be fo far known, as the Authour shall think fit to discover it.
The Paper which we now invite the Public to add to the Papers with which it is already rather wearied than fatisfied, confifts of many Parts; fome of which it has in common with other periodical Sheets, and fome peculiar to itself.
The first Demand made by the Reader of a Journal is, that he should find an accurate Account of foreign Tranfactions and domeftic Incidents. This is always expected, but this is very rarely performed. Of thofe Writers who have taken upon themselves the Tafk of Intelligence, fome have given and others have fold their Abilities, whether fmail or great, to one or other of the Parties that divide us; and without a Wish for Truth or Thought of Decency, without Care of any other Reputation than that of a ftubborn Adherence to their Abettors, carry on the fame Tenor of Representation through all the Viciffitudes of Right and Wrong, neither depreffed by Detection, nor abafhed by Confutation, proud of the hourly Increase of Infamy, and ready to boaft of all the Contumelies that Falfehood and Slander may bring upon them, as new Proofs of their Zeal and Fidelity.
With thefe Heroes we have no Ambition to be numbered, we leave to the Confeffors of Faction the Merit of their Sufferings, and are defirous to fhelter ourselves under the Protection of Truth. That all our Facts will be authentic, or all our Remarks juft, we dare not venture to promife: We can relate but what we hear, we can point out but what we fee. Of remote Transactions, the first Accounts are always confufed, and commonly exaggerated; and in domeftic Affairs, if the Power to conceal is lefs, the Intereft to mifreprefent is often greater; and what is fufficiently vexatious, Truth feems to