Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

The whole of Literature, as regards its form (forma), may be comprised in books, pamphlets, and magazines,—which division may be said to correspond with works finished and complete ; with partial observations and temporary comments; and, thirdly, with the first scattered elements of thought, and the original ideas suggested by the subject. The Magazine is comparatively of late introduction into the literature of our country; and its place was previously supplied by pamphlets and tracts, of all sizes and descriptions, including small treatises, down to single sheets, and even solitary leaves. But, valuable as these often were separately, and of increased importance when collected, one undeniable defect attended this form of publication,—that they were easily lost, and when lost seldom recovered or replaced ; and thus they became "fugitive pieces” in a double sense of the word. “Pamphlets and small tracts,” says Dr. Johnson,“ make a very important part of an English library; nor are there any pieces upon which those who aspire to the reputation of judicious collectors of books bestow more attention or greater expense; because many advantages may be expected from the perusal of these small productions, which are scarcely to be found in that of larger works.” But of a class of works so judiciously and highly esteemed it would be useless to conjecture the proportion that must have perished from neglect and accident, dating from their first appearance, which is supposed to have been about the time of the Reformation. Dr. Johnson in his days thought that no time was to be lost in securing them from further danger of destruction, and advised their being placed in safety by being collected into volumes, and distributed according to their subjects. In the present day the Magazine has in a great measure offered a better and safer channel for such communications as the pamphlet was formerly the only vehicle for affording : it has also the advantage of more easily adapting its dimensions to the exact importance of the subject, and of interposing spaces and pauses, if required, between different parts and divisions of the subject. Here, amidst the various communications of the Magazine, the

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« ПретходнаНастави »