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He appearance of this Number of the EDINBURGH REVIEW, has been delayed a good deal beyond its proper period of publication by accidental circumstances, in which the Public can take no interest. Arrangements, however, have been made to prevent the recurrence of such irregularities in future; and the Publishers rely upon being able, hereafter, to bring oụt the Numbers correctly at the expiration of each Quarter.
As various reports have reached them as to the discontinuance of the Work, they think it right to mention, that they have the authority of the Editor for declaring, that no such measure either is, or has been in contemplation.
EDINBURGH, 12. April, 1813,
Art. I. De la Literature considérée dans ses Rapports avec les
Institutions Sociales. Par Mad. de Staël-Holstein. Avec un Précis de la Vie et les Ecrits de l'Auteur. 2 tomes. 12mo. pp. 600. London, 1812.
its present readers in this country ;—but a book published at least ten years ago, with no very brilliant success,—and lately brought back into notice by the happier fortune of the Novels with which its distinguished author has since condescended to favour this frivolous generation. Its true date, indeed, is sufficiently marked by a great part of its contents ; since it is full of reflections on the effects of ten years of revolution and of conjectures as to the changes which European literature is likely to undergo from the establishment of an august Republic in France. These proud anticipations, indeed, are now among the most curious and interesting parts of the work; and when compared with the events that have already succeeded, cannot fail to excite in the mind of the thinking reader, a sentiment of mingled distrust and compassion for the bright and fleeting visions of human prosperity-a disposition to laugh at the miserable miscarriage of so many vast pretensions, and to mourn over the ruin of so many glorious hopes. All this, however, is nothing to the ingenious frequenters of circulating libraries, and the live\v inquirers after new books in duodecimo ;-and Mad. de Staëls: charming work upon Literature is devoured, we make no doubt, by the greater part of its readers, with the same discriminating relish as Miss Owenson's or Miss Porter's last new works upon sentimental Poles or ingenuous Irish women.
What such persons think in their hearts of the little volumes before us, we do not pretend of our own knowledge to deter,
VOL. XXI. NO. 4!.