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The Conclusion of the Boston Quarterly Review

The Boston Quarterly Review, Oct. 1842

Art. II.--End of the Volume

In announcing that with this Number the publication of the Boston Quarterly Review is discontinued, we offer no valedictory; for we have no wish to take leave of our readers, nor expectation that they and we are about to part company.  Five years' acquaintance ought not to be severed with a stroke of the pen.  Most of our readers have had in some degree to share with us in the evil report we have borne, and all men are so made that they can never become wholly indifferent to those with whom they have suffered.  The frank manner in which we have spoken, the honesty and truthfulness of our utterances to ourselves, have given our readers an opportunity of knowing us personally, at least so far as worth knowing.  The five volumes of the Review now completed, the greater part of which we have ourselves written, must be taken very much in the light of a private Journal.  We have spoken as we thought and felt at the time of writing, as unreservedly as if we had been writing in a private Diary, for no eye but our own.  Happy is he who can so speak, with less to regret on review, or with less that must expose him to ridicule, censure, or misconstruction.  In these volumes we have embodied five years of our life,--our thoughts, our likes and dislikes, our loves and our hates, our aspirations and hopes.  They have their faults; for what life is perfect?  but they have proceeded from a living soul, and a warm heart, and they have in them, let the world say what it will, something of vitality.  Crude, ill-tempered, hasty, rash, impetuous, they may be at times; but when criticism has done its work, when the mists of prejudice have been dissipated, andn they stand forth for what they really are, they will be seen to bear the marks of one, who to many faults joined at least the one virtue of being able, in good report and in evil, in weakness and in strength, in poverty and disgrace, to be true to the great Idea which has possessed him almost from the cradle--that of man's moral, intellectual, and physical amelioration, on earth.

These volumes mark an important epoch in the life of the Editor.  Friendless and alone five years ago, he started this Journal; almost friendless and alone has he continued it to this time; and he parts with it not without a pang, like that with which one looks for the last time upon the face of a dear friend.  Nevertheless he owes to this Review some years of a life, for the most part dark and full of trouble, of very high enjoyment, intellectual and moral.  And if it has raised him up enemies, it has also brought him some warm-hearted friends, on whom he can count, and whose friendship is ample remuneration for any measure of abuse that has been or can be received.  We were wrong in saying that we had continued the work almost without friends.  It is not so.  Every one who has continued to go with us, has become in some sort a personal friend, and the great body of the American people will one day be among the number of our friends; for we have a true American heart, and feel a fraternal relation with them all.  Pardon this egotism, which the very wide abuse we have at times received in some degree renders excusable.

Nevertheless, we are not to part company with the readers of the Boston Quarterly.  With this number will be sent to our subscribers the October number of the Democratic Review, in which our publication will hereafter be merged.  An arrangement to this effect has been made with the proprietors of that Journal, very much to our satisfaction, and which promises to be much to our pecuniary advantage.

An arrangement is also made with the Editor of the Democratic Review, by which the Editor of this Journal is to be a regular contributor to its pages, and by which he is to be permitted to select his own topics of discussion, and to discuss them in his own way, as freely as if it were his own Journal.  The much wider circulation of the Democratic Review, than has been attained by ours, makes this arrangement very desirable to us, because it gives us a much larger,--though not a better,--public to address, and nothing will be wanting to complete our happiness, if our old friends go with us.  They must do so, for we should hardly know how to speak, if we did not feel that we were still speaking to those to whom our tones, all unmusical as they are, have become familiar, and not altogether unpleasant.

The Democratic Review is published at New York, by J. & H.G. Langley, 57 Chatham Street, monthly, at Five Dollars a year.  Our own contributions to it will be almost as much as we usually contribute to the Quarterly, and the subscribers will obtain as much matter for five dollars, as we have furnished them for twelve or fifteen.  The work is very neatly printed, and ably and judiciously edited by John. L. O'Sullivan, Esq., who has proved himself a pleasing, able, and vigorous writer, and acommplished scholar, and a man of great moral purity, force, and elevation; liberal and catholic in his feelings; firm, decided, independent, uncompromising in his principles.  American literature can boast few names that promise more than his.  Five years' experience as Editor of the Democratic Review, and the brilliant success which has attended his labors, amply justify our estimation of his worth and ability.  In addition to his own essays, the Democratic Review is encriched by contributions from the first literary men in the country, such, for instance, as Alexander H. Everett, Bancroft, Cooper, Cass, Hawthorne, Bryant, Goodwin, &c.

The Democratic Review is the organ of the Democratic party, and has therefore of course a decided political character; but it must not be supposed from this, that it is entirely taken up with political discussions.  It is a magazine, and devoted principally to general literature.  In it, Bryant, Whitier, and othes, publish their poetry, and in it we intend publishing our general system of philosophy and metaphysics, the Introduction to which appears in the number for October.  It stands already at the heead of the Monthly Magazines in this country, and it is the intention of its persevering and energetic Editor, that no pains shall be spared to make it in every way worthy of the party whose organ it is, of the rising literature of the country, and of the active, intense, yet catohlic spirit of the age.  If anything could make us not regreat parting with our own Review, it is that we are to aid in a work so respectable, and be in some measure also uniteed with a man, scholar, and politician, whom we so highly esteem as its accomplished and independent Editor.

With these remarks, we take our leave for the present of our readers, with the hope of meeting them again on the first of each month, in a company both they and we shall love.

O.A. Brownson