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THE first pumber of the American Quarterly Review of Politics and Literature is now given to the Public, within the space of little more than two months after the adoption of the plan. The original matter has been prepared during that period, and is, with the exception of a few pages, the work of one hand. The present number has not, therefore, that character of variety in the style, or of refinement in the execution, which, it is hoped, will distinguish this work, when more time can be allotted to the preparation of materials, and that able cooperation is given, which has been liberally promised. The Public have not now before them a fair specimen of the merits to which it may lay claim hereafter, but merely an evidence of the seriousness of the attempt, and an example of the tone which will be perseveringly maintained, both in the Politics and the Literature of this journal. In the publication of this number, the regular interval of three months, which should have elapsed from the date of the annunciation of the enterprise, has been anticipated, on account of the immediate importance of the political matter, and because it was deemed advisable, to show at once to those, who may be disposed to lend their aid to the work, the form in which their productions will appear. It is a principal object of this undertaking, that men of talents and knowledge, in every part of the United States, should be encouraged, by the possession of a suitable channel for the communication of their ideas, to follow the example set them in Europe, and to dedicate some portion of their time to such political and literary speculations, as may essentially promote the interests of good government, and of letters, in this country.
It may not be improper to remark, that the first article of this number," the Inquiry into our Relations with France," -was finished and committed to the press, several days before the commencement of the present session of Congress, and consequently, before the important documents, which accompanied the Message of the President, had transpired. Those documents ratify, in all respects, the conjectures and
reasonings contained in that article. The political opinions advanced in this journal, derive the most complete confirmation, from the language of the French government itself, and the tenor of the official correspondence which has been disclosed. The explanations given to General Armstrong by the Duke of Cadore with regard to the revocation of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, show clearly, the wretched and precarious footing, upon which the trade of this country is to be placed. The absurdity of the statement made in the proclamation of our Executive, is rendered particularly apparent, by the phraseology employed on this subject, in the commencement of the Message, and by all the intelligence which has been recently received from Europe, in relation to the commercial policy of the French Emperor. The total want of dignity and the gross inconsistency which mark this proceeding throughout, are placed in the highest relief, by the declarations contained in the letters of the Secretary of State, concerning the restitution of the property confiscated under the Rambouillet decree. We have inserted in our Appendix, such of the papers submitted to Congress, as we deemed to be important, and have marked in italics, the passages in them, which should, we think, attract the particular notice of those, who wish to understand the true merits of the great question of our relations with France.
Philadelphia, January 1, 1811.