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PREFACE was formerly considered one of the chief
labours of an Author, who on that account often procured some learned friend to write it for him. I shall however spare myself pains on this occasion. The literary diffidence of a man caught in the very act of publishing must be somewhat questionable ; and any attempt to palliate a manifest presumption appears to me in the light of insincerity. What sapient apology indeed can a man make for troubling the world with more “words, words, words” as Hamlet says, now that every department of literature offers such abundant store !
I need not be told how difficult it is to write any thing new ; I am sensible that my morality will be but a feeble echo of greater and more durable writings; I am quite persuaded that iny warmth may tinge no cheek with a kindred ardour, and that not one iota will be added by all I can say to the wisdom, or the virtue, or the happiness of my species. The terrors of Oblivion are also before me. But I have a consolation common to all other Authors, that I shall not travel to the shades without company. I am certain only of one thing ; namely, that in adding to the copiqus list of Periodical Works, I am much more adventurous than wise. But the spirit of adventure has ever been applauded, and in great afforts (lis said) it is not inglorious even to fail, I shall use therefore no honeyed sentences to recommend my work, but whether censure arms or withdraws her sting, I shall appeal directly to the feelings of my Readers, and throw myself on the generosity of that Public whom I have invoked.
A Local Periodical Work is a medium, which may be einployed to spread useful intelligence, or to diffuse speculative knowledge. It offers a channel
, by which any literary productions of merit, whether pertaining to religion, or
morals, morals, or statistics, or of a lighter and less serious cast, may be conveyed to the public eye. The Devonshire Ad. venturer, though small in its commencement, may increase in the value and interest of its matter, and become as well a record of Provincial History, as a Monument of Devonian literature. But it can only become so by the support of the learned. An individual cannot fill the multitudes of themes which it is calculated to embrace. I adjure therefore every active minded and intelligent man, wlio breathes his air in this peninsular country so highly favoured by nature, to cherish an attempt, which aims at heightening her literary consequence; an attempt, which though made by one not born on her happy soil, will not I trust on that account be deemed presumptuous or illaadable.
At first I feel sensible, that I must stand or fall by myself. My adventurous bark must be launched forth alone into the stream of the public opinion, and it is only in the event of her proying water-tight and steady, that I can hope to see her properly manned and ably conducted.
GEORGE JOHN FREEMAN.
NAMES OF SUBSCRIBERS.
The names of Subscribers to the Devonshire Adventurer are not printed in the alphabetical pruer usual on such occasion, but just as they were received. In making them public, the Conductor is solely actuated by the desire he feels to give a public token of his gratitude to those persons who have honoured his undertaking with their support.
The Honorable and Right Reverend the Bishop of Exeter.
Samuel Pipe Wolferstan, Esp, Statfold Hall, Staffordshire.
Cambridge. Thomas Mercer, Esq. Hacleton, near Northampton. Mrs. Moore, St. John's Square, London. The Right Honorable Lady Lyttleton, Peckham Grove,
Despencer, Esq. Plymouth.