« AnteriorContinuar »
L. E. L.,
"THE IMPROVISATRICE,” “THE VENETIAN BRACELET,"
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. & J. HARPER,
NO. 82 CLIFF-STREET.
ROUSSEAU says, nobody reads prefaces. I suspect there is more truth in the assertion than one is quite willing to admit; for a preface is a species of literary luxury, where an author, like a lover, is privileged to be egotistical; and really it is very pleasant to dwell upon our own thoughts, hopes, fears, and feelings. But all this is laying a very "flattering unction to our souls;" for who really enters into our thoughts, cares for our hopes, allows for our fears, or sympathises with our feelings? The gratitude and the modesty of an anthor are equally thrown away. Our readers only open our pages for amusement: if they find it, well and goodif not, our most eloquent pleading will not make them read on.
The term "courteous reader” is as much a misnomer as any of the grandiloquent titles of the Great Mogul, Emperor of the World—which means a league round Delhi.
Prefaces want reform quite as much as Parliament: so I beg to retrench the gratitude, modesty, &c. usual on such occasions. Piron used to observe, that the introductory speeches made when a member was electe ed to the French Institute, were quite superfluous, and that the new Academician needed only to say, Messieurs, grand merci ;” while the Directeur should an. Swer, “ Il n'y a pas de quoi.” I am sure that when the author begins his "grand merci" to the public, that public may very well reply," Il n'y a pas de quoi.”