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District of New-York, ss.
thirty-sixth year of the independence of the Uni
ted States of America, Whiting and Watson of the (L. s.) said district, have deposited in this office the title of a
book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in
the words and figures following, to wit: “ The Martyrs; or, the Triumph of the Christian Religion. From the original French of F. A. De Chateaubriand. With Notes. Vol. 1."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to An Act, entitled “ An Act supplementary to An Act, entitled An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
CHARLES CLINTON, Clerk of the District of New-York.
I REMARKED, in a former work, that the Christian Religion appeared to me better calculated for the developement of the passions in an Epic Poem, than Paganism; I observed also, that the Marvellous of that religion might perhaps be advantageously contrasted with the Marvellous borrowed from Mythology: these opinions, which have been more or less opposed, it is my present design to support by an example.
That the reader might become an impartial judge of this grand literary process, it seemed necessary to adopt a subject in which the principles, the morality, the sacrifices, the pomps and ceremonies of the two Religions might be exhibited together; a subject, in which the language of the book of Genesis might be connected with that of the Odyssey ; in which the Jupiter of Homer might be seated upon the same throne with the Jehovah of Milton, without giving offence to piety, taste or decorum.
Having formed this idea, it was easy to find the historical epocha of the alliance of the two Religions.
The scene opens with the commencement of the persecution excited by Dioclesian, towards the close of the third century. Christianity had not yet become the prevailing religion of the Roman empire; but her
tars were erected by the side of those Idolatry.