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“Beware how you indulge your passions without restraint! They are
IN TWO VOLUMES.
A WORD TO THE READER!
As this tale is my first essay at authorship, I must humbly crave thy kind indulgence, beseeching thee generously to look over those errors, which thou wilt undoubtedly discover in its pages ;--errors, which only superior talents can avoid, and that by dint of practice and unceasing labour.
It was during those hours, which the major part of creation dedicate to repose, and after I had retired from the drudgery incumbent upon a mercantile profession, that I composed the tale thou art about to peruše. : Intended at first as a pastime, circumstances, and the encouragement of a few, have induced me to lay before the reading world, the offspring of my imagination. I trust, yet not without fear, that my primogenial may meet, if not with caresses, at all events with a small portion of kind notice and sympathy.
My aim has been, firstly to amuse, secondly to point out into what fatal errors man will cast himself headlong, thereby preparing for himself, present and future pangs. I fear that I have but imperfectly succeeded; and yet I have done my best to attempt to please thee. I had the wish, if not the power. Of this thou shalt judge for thyself. Perhaps at times thou mayest pronounce me severe: yet, on second thoughts, thou wilt necessarily be constrained to admit, that my sarcasms and gibes are but too well founded to admit of doubt.
My hero, to some of my readers, may not be quite the “beau ideal” of their thoughts. I ask of such, why should I create what does not exist? Why should I exalt the hero of a romance, who after all is but a man, into an angel-perfect, when we all of us know, that man is as weak as a reed, and bows to the caprice of Zephyr, when it emanates from a woman's
smile, but bends doubled to the earth, when the gales and blasts of Circumstance rage upon him?
I have laid the plot of my tale in an era redundant with interest-prolific in intrigues and persecutions.—By introducing the illustrious personages whose names grace the pages of “ THE AMNESTY," I thought I should give pleasure and create greater interest.
One word more, and I have done. It is to remind thee, gentle reader, that the author of this work is a Cosmopolite, who has spent the greater part of his life in foreign climes, and who has associated with the sons of both temperate and torrid zones. He therefore trusts this will plead as an excuse for the errors he has committed, the extravagances into which he has fallen, and the fallacies which no doubt have crept into his pages.
London, May 1, 1843.