網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

PRE FACE

BY

THE ENGLISH EDITOR.

To the great reading public entering Mr. Fraser's and other shops in quest of daily provender, it may be as well to state, on the

very threshold, that this little reprint of an American Book of Essays is in no wise the thing suited for them; that not the great reading public, but only the small thinking public, and perhaps only a portion of these, have any question to ask concerning it. No editor or reprinter can expect such a book ever to become popular here. But, thank heaven, the small thinking public has now also a visible existence among us, is visibly enlarging itself. At the present time it can be predicted, what some years ago it could not be, that a certain number of human creatures will be found extant in England to whom the words of a man speaking from the heart of him, in what fashion soever, under what obstructions soever, will be welcome ;-welcome, perhaps, as a brother's voice, to "wanderers in the labyrinthic night!" For these, and not for any other class of persons, is this little book reprinted and recommended. Let such read, and try; ascertain for themselves, whether this is a kind of articulate human voice speaking words, or only another of the thousand thousand ventriloquisms, mimetic echoes, hysteric shrieks, hollow laughters, and mere inarticulate mechanical babblements, the soul-confusing din of which already fills all places? I will not anticipate their verdict; but I reckon it

« 上一頁繼續 »