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NOTHER year has revolved, and with its revolution our annual duty has returned. Johnson, in his introductory Rambler, laments, that there has been no settled form adopted, that might relieve the perplexity which is always felt by a man when called upon to address the world on an occasion of novelty; and considers the privilege of heroick poetry as enviable, the initial lines of which have a prescription of manner as ancient as the days of Homer. Had Homer written a preface, we know no part of his works to which we would now turn with more alacrity, eager to escape the charge of monotony beneath the venerable authority of his name. To be forced upon a perpetual recurrence of expressions is one of the evils of periodical labours.
Yet, it is not often safe to disappoint expectation; and we suppose there are few of our readers who do not look for some protestations of gratitude, some assurances of assiduity, and some anticipations of perfection at this period. The mind of man loves to be soothed by promises; for, as they excite hope, they arrest the torpid influence of indifference, and confer a pleasure not often inferior to reality.
Shall we then relinquish what is so easily performed 2–
Certainly not. But our promises shall not have the unsubstantial,
qualities of mere words; for we may refer to past exertions as the
honorable pledge of what our future ones will be. Incited by