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P E RHAPS an author's pen, however facile,
glib, fast in its pace, and ready with its
ink, has rested more often at the dissyllable written above than at any other. Prefaces are things difficult to write, and ungrateful because so few people read them. Yet, if we take the words of a sound scholar, they are “to be weighed and tasted,” as well as the matter of the book; and certainly they do give timely warning of the author's style-a very important question to all readers who are not alone captivated by the bare narration of extraordinary incidents and exciting conflicts, either bodily or mental; most important in a book of Essays where none of these are to be found.
Of the thousand and one varieties of Preface, the