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CONTENTS OF VOLUME FIRST.
** The Figures refer to the Pages.
PROSE AND POETRY.
Tibbie Shiel's Creel.-The Fishing Crib
The First and Last Lays of the Minstrel
To the projectors of the present publication, the idea of establishing in Berwick a periodical in the shape of a Magazine is not of recent occurrence. It had been long nurtured, and was only prevented from assuming a tangible form by a mixed feeling of dread and delicacy, although in
many respects the circumstances were favourable and the prospects flattering. Lately, however, a fresh impulse was given to the undertaking by a combination of fortuitous events, which recalled former conceptions and reanimated former plans. In the nature of these events the public are not interested, and besides, there is involv. ed in their texture a story too complicated and too personal to be unfolded. With the results merely has the world to do. To the purposes proposed, attention has been already called by a preliminary paper, which, partly to preserve entire the thread of the Editors doings, and partly to accommodate such readers as did not procure the original copy, is here republished:
PROSPECTUS. To contend for the utility of Periodical Publications would be like attempting to prove the truth of a self-evident proposition. While the names of Addison and Johnson are remembered, the value of such works will be duly appreciated.
The appearance of the Spectator formed a new æra in the history of mind :-previously to this, philosophy was excluded from the walks of common life, or, if she ever ventured abroad in open day-light, like the ladies of the East she was shrouded in a veil of mysticism, which served to increase rather than dispel the general ignorance. But no sooner did the Essayists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries give to the world their inimitable productions than the grand barrier between the learned and the unlearned was removed, and the "goddess divinely bright" shone forth in her native grandeur and simplicity. Wisdom issued from the prison-house of the schools, and took up her residence where formerly knowledge and virtue had been entire strangers. The consequence was, that the foibles of the age were in a great measure discarded, a taste for polite literature was extensively diffused, and morality was introduced into those circles, where lately profanity and profligacy held all but supreme sway.
It would be equally unseasonable and arrogant to apply these remarks as grounds for justifying the appearance of the present publication. The fact is undisputed, that those in the humblest situation of life can now boast of acquirements and refinement, of which even the enlightened among their forefathers possessed not the slightest information. But in an age, which has been properly denominated that of literary luxury, when almost all have enjoyed the privilege of tasting of its sweets, an effort to confer on the inhabitants of Berwick and the Border towns, with their environs, a similar and more immediate opportunity, may perhaps be pardoned in the Editors of the proposed Magazine.
The conductors assume for their motto a memorable line of the Roman bard,
"Omne tulit punctum, qui miscait utile dulcí;'
and they thus pledge themselves, while their object is to combine instruction with amusement, that nothing shall find a place in the Border Magazine, which may tend in the smallest degree to injure the purest precepts of morality, or call the blush of ingenuous shame into the countenance of the most delicate of their readers.
The work will be published on the 15th of every month, in Numbers, Price One Shilling each, printed on a new and beautiful Type, and shall consist of Original Essays on subjects of Morals or Miscellaneous Literature, Tales, Translations from valuable productions in Foreign Languages, Reviews, &c. A proportionate space will also be devoted to Poetry in its various departments.
In opening their pages to all classes of contributors, whom their plan recognizes, the Editors declare their firm resolve to submit every article to a careful and candid examination; and at the same time that they are determined to discountenance wilful stupidity and presumption, they will exert every energy to call forth the latent spark of genius, and nurture the hidden blossomings of worth and intelligence. They are encouraged to be thus decisive in their toneand they will assuredly act up to it-by the consideration of the high and honourable names, who, they rejoice to state, are guaranteed to lend their aid, and whose talents will adorn and dignify the successive numbers of the Border Magazine. As a redundancy of verse is anti. cipated, intending correspondents are respectfully recommended to prose compositions-not, however, to the entire or even fastidious neglect of the muse :-indeed, the Editors trust, that the spirit, which has been partially slumbering by the banks of the Tweed and upon the hills of Cheviot, will arouse itself, and strike with bolder hand that Iyre which in olden days kindled a brightly burning flame in the breasts of the Douglases and the Percys.
In conclusion, the Editors are alive to the candour of an enlightened Public, and as they are conscious that their attempts must succeed or fall by the decision of the Public alone, they confidently hope that, if instruction and amusement form an agreeable visitor, the Border Magazine will not be an unwelcome guest.