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portion of the earth, if I had not snatched it from obscurity in the very nick of time, at the moment that those matters herein recorded were about entering into the widespread insatiable maw of oblivion—if I had not dragged them out, as it were, by the very locks, just as the monster's adamantine fangs were closing upon them for ever. And here have I, as before observed, carefully collected, collated, and arranged them, scrip and scrap, “punt en punt, gat en gat,” and commenced in this little work a history to serve as a foundation on which other historians may hereafter raise a noble superstructure, swelling in process of time, until Knickerbocker's New York may be equally voluminous with Gibbon's Rome, or Hume and Smollet's England!
And now indulge me for a moment, while I lay down my pen, skip to some little eminence at the distance of two or three hundred years ahead; and, casting back a bird's eye glance over the waste of years that is to roll between, discover myself— little I!-at this moment the progenitor, prototype, and pre
cursor of them all, posted at the head of this host of literary worthies, with my
book under my arm, and New York on my back, pressing forward, like a gallant commander, to honour and immortality.
Such are the vain-glorious imaginings that will now and then enter into the brain of the author—that irradiate, as with celestial light, his solitary chamber, cheering his weary spirits, and animating him to persevere in his labours. And I have freely given utterance to these rhapsodies whenever they have occurred; not I trust, from an unusual spirit of egotism, but merely that the reader may for once have an idea how an author thinks and feels wbile he is writing—a kind of knowledge very rare and curious, and much to be desired.