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TO THE READER.
The following Essays having been originally published under a nom de plume, the Reader is courteously entreated to attribute the egotism of which they may bear too frequent traces, not to the Author, but to the ideal personage whom he represented.
It may not be inexpedient to state that though some of the Essays affect a thoughtful or critical tone, and are therefore meant to be read in a serious spirit, many more of them begin where Common Sense leaves off. Incredible as it may appear on perusal, it is not the less true that the articles of this latter class were intended to be amusing ; that they should have been so designed, seeing how they have eventuated, is, perhaps, the drollest thing about them. They were written upon the Horatian principle, dulce est desipere in loco ; and Addison's maxim, “No matter in the world is so proper to write with as wildfire,” was adopted throughout, though probably in a sense, as with a result, hardly within the contemplation of that celebrated author.
It now and then happened to the present writer that his pen ran away with him.. He meekly suggests that on such occasions Messrs. Gillott, of Birmingham, who created the unmanageable implement, should be held responsible for its escapades.