Prying further into the manuscript, I found the record of other doings and sufferings of this singular woman, for most of which the reader
is referred to the story entitled "THE SCARLET LETTER"; and it should be borne carefully in mind that the main facts of that story are authorized and authenticated by the document of Mr.
Such annotations as may be useful to assist the reader in comprehending the characters of the Jew, the Templar, the Captain of the mercenaries, or Free Companions, as they were called, and others proper to the period, are added, but with a sparing hand, since sufficient information on these subjects is to be found in general history.
The general tone of the story belongs to all ranks and all countries, which emulate each other in describing the rambles of a disguised sovereign, who, going in search of information or amusement, into the lower ranks of life, meets with adventures diverting to the reader or hearer, from the contrast betwixt the monarch's outward appearance, and his real character.
Dobson's own original work are a sufficient guarantee of the taste and discrimination we may look for in a collection like this, in which the random lightnings of the first of the essayists are grouped under certain heads--"Character Sketches," "Tales and Incidents," "Manners and Fashions," and the like--so as to diminish, for the general reader
, the scattered effect of short essays on a hundred various subjects, and give a connected, book-like character to the specimens.
How pleased, therefore, will the reader
be to find that we have, in the following work, adhered closely to one of the highest principles of the best cook which the present age, or perhaps that of Heliogabalus, hath produced.
If it is true that Captain MacWhirr never walked and breathed on this earth (which I find for my part extremely difficult to believe) I can also assure my readers
that he is perfectly authentic.
What is left 'tis hoped will not offend the chastest reader
or the modest hearer; and as the best use is made even of the worst story, the moral 'tis hoped will keep the reader
serious, even where the story might incline him to be otherwise.
But here, perhaps, someone will catch at the word and ask me: if you really don't reckon on readers
, why do you make such compacts with yourself--and on paper too--that is, that you won't attempt any system or method, that you jot things down as you remember them, and so on, and so on?
Princess Ozma, whom I love as much as my readers
do, is again introduced in this story, and so are several of our old friends of Oz.
have told me what to do with Dorothy, and Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, and I have obeyed their mandates.
AS a preface is the only place where an author can with propriety explain a purpose or apologize for shortcomings, I venture to avail myself of the privilege to make a statement for the benefit of my readers
When I devised this story, I foresaw the likelihood that a class of readers
and commentators would suppose that I was at great pains to conceal exactly what I was at great pains to suggest: namely, that Mr John Harmon was not slain, and that Mr John Rokesmith was he.