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P R E F A C E
TO THE SECOND VOLUME.
It was well remarked by an eminent and successful periodical writer, that all considerate Lords of ibé Soil will, for good reasons, not only continue in possession a Tenant, who holds merely at pleasure, so long as he duly performs Suit and Service, but will also allow him proportionable advantages, if, through his industry, and enquiries of skilful
persons, he shall improve the premises. - A relation somewhat like this, Mr. Urban* of venerable memory, always considered as subsisting between himself, and the Public. As an hitherto favoured Tenant, we therefore again come forward on concluding our second volume, with our respectful thanks; and at the same time embrace the opportunity of reviewing the contents, and progress of our Work.
* Gentleman's Magazine, for 1746.
Under the head of BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS WE have rendered an essential service to our Country, by placing in a more extensive, and correct point of view, some of the first Characters of the British Navy; and also, by rendering others the object of public attention, whose exertions, though highly beneficial to the period in which they appeared, are at present by no means sufficiently remembered: our Memoirs of Lord Hood; of the late Admiral Sir Charles Knowles's services in Russia, and of the late Captain Alms, were particularly published on the above principles.
The Toulon PAPERS, which have given so much satisfaction, will enable the historian of the present War, to form a correct idea of one of the most important events, that has taken place; and which before was too imperfe&tly considered: he will also derive assistance from those original professional documents, with which, by the flattering attention of different Correspondents, we have given an additional interest to the Naval Chronicle.
In the PhilosOPHICAL DEPARTMENT many sincere thanks are due to our Professional Correspondent (L,) whose valuable answers to the Queries of the Humane Society, have been unavoidably delayed ; they however shall have the earliest attention paid them in our power, as well as the other communications of this Officer that have not yet appeared. We are also sensible of the value of Mr. Whidbey's MS. remarks on Time-keepers, his important observations on Compasses, and on the present method
of noting the Variation: the future communications of so experienced and able a mariner, as Mr. Whidbey, will not only prove a considerable addition to our work, but must be of essential benefit to THE SERVICE in general. The continued assistance of J. M. Esq. in our philosophical department; as well as the communications of BRITANNICUS, and A. G. NAUTICUS; the polite attention of LIEUTENANT H. (who will not allow us to mention his real rank), with the assistance of our friend from Bristol, who subscribes himself A SEAMAN, and many others, here claim our grateful acknowledgments.
When reviewing the MISCELLANEOUS DEPARTMENT of the Naval Chronicle, our obligations are considerable to those Gentlemen, who have enabled us to bring forward subjects equally interesting, and instructive to professional men. Amid these our early Friend H. W. H. has our first, and hearty thanks. We are also duly sensible, of the communication of Sir Home Popham's Letter “on the best mode of defence in case of invasion ;" of the literary assistance we have received from a worthy Baronet in Leicestershire; and of the attention of those officers who favoured us with Lord Nelson's MS. remarks on the Action of February 14, 1797, and also with further particulars of that glorious event.
Our selections of NAVAL POETRY are enriched with some original lines of considerable merit; to these we have been careful to add such poems, as are connected with our subject, and claim pre-eminence in point of genius. To poor Falconer, of whom
we are promised some interesting particulars, our work has assigned the sublime naval ode styled the Storm, which so long had been given to G. A. Steevens: many other nautical compositions, have been thus brought forward, that before were too much blended with the general mass of English poetry.—A Cambridge Correspondent, on whom our readers may rely, informs us, that “ The Rime of the Ancyent Mariner" is undoubtedly the composition of Mr. Coleridge of Jesus College: we particularly recommend the perusal of the whole to our Professional Correspondents, who must not complain of a dearth of Poetic Genius, when such compositions appear. We are also happy in receiving the remarks of a Seaman, who dates from his cabin in the gun room, on that beautiful Commercial Epic Poem of Camoens, The Lusiad, which the spirited translation of Mr. Mickle, has given to his countrymen:
False to themselves, and to their interest blind,
Our GAZETTE LETTERS form an official history of the noble achievements of our brave Seamen during the present important crisis; and have proved in their detached, and collective state, very acceptable to