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THE NEW JERSEY MAGAZINE is a monthly devoted to Literature, Art, History, and Biography. It will not be of less value to the reading public elsewhere in our country, because, as its name indicates, it is part of our work to aid the intellectual energies of New Jersey. This State is entering upon a new career of physical, educational, and social development. Agriculture, Architecture, Literature, Ethics, have for us greater significance than ever before. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE cannot be indifferent to these interests. Probably no State in the Union furnishes a highway to a greater number. New England thought and Western activity play their electric fires across our borders, in their constant intercourse.
We ought, and do feel the thrill. Thus aroused, the spirit of progress energizes the people from the sand-hills of Cape May to the coal-fields of Sussex, and assures her a place among the earnest workers for the general good. She will ever keep step to the tune of the Union, and demands, as she offers, entire sympathy with all. New motives are therefore afforded, and new topics of absorbing interest engage the pens of our ablest writers. Such a journal as we shall try to make this is needed in our State and country.
The contents of this number, although inferior in many respects (which is inevitable with all new enterprises) to those which will follow, sufficiently indicate the high order of talent engaged upon it. Some of the ablest minds in New Jersey are writing for it, without distinction of party, class, or sect; while from abroad we shall secure whatever of real value may offer.
There has been no attempt to follow the fashion in our type-dress, but, satisfied rather with plain roman, we furnish a page which can be read with ease and comfort.
Sufficient has been said by the President of the New Jerbey
State Literary Union, on an another page, of its objects, aims, and hopes. The Union gave existence to the Magazine, and from it we shall, of course, expect such aid as its members can furnish. Any other result would be simply unnatural. As well might a parent be expected to neglect his child. It is their enterprise, and because private means, and not the funds of the Union, are furnished to carry it forward, the pledge of the Union and its members to sustain it is no less binding. We have just received the following from His Excellency the Governor:
STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
TRENTON, March 25th, 1867.
DEAR SIR: I am happy to learn from you of the new enterprise about to be undertaken, as authorized by the New Jersey State Literary Union. A monthly magazine, issued to some extent from such source, and in its name, will bind the various societies of the State more closely together; and while it will bear information and enlightenment into their midst, will also serve to rouse the literary pride and stimulate the ambition of their members. I am much gratified to learn, also, that writers of experience generally, throughout the State, have, as a class, so largely promised to write for the magazine. You will be able to secure for it at once a high character, and receive the earnest support of the people. I cannot commend your effort too highly, and for success you have my best wishes and confident hopes.
Very truly yours,
MARCUS L. WARD.
I. THE GREAT MASTER OF ENGLISH SATIRE-DEAN SWIFT.
LORD BOLINGBROKE, who knew Swift well, and loved him better, always declared,“ that he was a hypocrite reversed.” This was true, for he appeared to the world in a mask, that he removed only in the company of his most intimate friends; and as the world judges by appearances, no wonder it was mistaken in the judgment it formed of him. But with all his apparent bitterness and misanthropy, he had a warm, susceptible, sympathetic heart beating beneath his cassock. He had about him too the rare virtue of Christian charity, “that suffereth long and is kind.” We want no better evidence of this than the closing paragraph of his letter to Steele, who had forced him to experience how terrible a thing it was “to be wounded in the house of one's friends,” where he says: " This is the history of what you think fit to call, in an insulting spirit, their laughing at me; and you may do it securely, for, by the most inhuman dealings, you have put it entirely out of my power to do you the least ill office."
But while Swift might conceal his virtues, he never concealed his thoughts, whenever baseness, dishonesty, or hypocrisy started up in his pathway. It was this brave, outspoken honesty that always interfered with his promotion. He was on the point of being made Bishop of Virginia, but unfortunately for his prospects, in his “ Tale of a Tub,” he had scattered some of the terrible Greek-fire of his sarcasm upon a court sycophant, and the rays of the sunshine of royal favor were shut out from him. He hated all sycophants, toadies, Vicars of Bray, and hypocrites. He called a spade, a spade, and was not measured in his phrases when the manhood of the political world was emasculated by time-serving, and the arts of the fawning courtier. He hated vice in whatever form it appeared, and scourged incessantly with his whip of scorpions the naked back of the age, sinking its lashes deep into the quivering flesh. He probed, with the keen, glittering bistoury of truth, the festering ulcers upon the body politic, and hesitated not to lay bare all the corruptions engendered in the vile political atmosphere that brooded over an unprincipled and corrupt court. Promotion and official favor, therefore, were not for him, and it makes manifest the political degeneracy of any age, when duplicity, low cunning, and dissembling, are preferred before brave, out-spoken words.
Miss Vanhomrigh hits off Swift's character when in one of her letters she says: “ You once had a maxim to act what was right, and not mind what the world would say.” This bold fearlessness in defense of right, and contempt for the world's opinion, that shone in his every act, public and private, was the cause, in the corrupt age in which his lot was cast, that made him so many and such bitter enemies. The time, however, did come, and that before his death, when his real character came to be known, and his disinterested, patriotic conduct gave the lie to the gross misrepresentations that had been made of him : when his love of country broke forth into action, and saved Ireland from threatened ruin : when it was seen that the great object of bis life was to promote public good : that in the discharge of moral and religious duties he had no superior, in the choice and extent of his charities, no equal.