Dear Sir or Madam,--This little book was first written several years ago, at the suggestion ofMr. Greenwood , then editor of the St. James's Gazette. The idea was Mr. Greenwood's; the author confesses that it did not exactly smile on him, but a journalist must "do his darg," and any "darg" of a literary sort is pleasanter than another to a bookworm. The public, it is well known, seldom regards a man's performances with the eye of the writer himself. For some reason the kindness of readers has favored a volume which is not the author's favorite; he has his own ugly ducklings that are much more dear to him than "Letters to Dead Authors." Perhaps we all naturally prefer the work which has given us most trouble, perhaps that which comes most easily is naturally . . .
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