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The paper appeared in due course, and several more followed. The favor with which these papers were received led the " Atlantic" editors to the consideration of their reprint in permanent form, together with several which now appear for the first time. All the illustrations have been made from items in my own collection. I am thus tying a string, as it were, around a parcel which contains the result of thirty-six years of collecting. It may not be much, but, as the Irishman said of his dog, "It's mine own." My volume might, with propriety, be called "Newton's Complete Recreations."
I have referred to my enjoyment in writing my "Ridiculous Philosopher." I might say the same of all my papers. I am aware that my friend, Dr. Johnson, once remarked that no man but a fool writes a book except for money. At some risk, then, I admit that I have done so. I have written for fun, and my papers should be read, if read at all, for the same purpose, not that the reader will or is expected to laugh loud. The loud laugh, in Goldsmith's phrase, it may be remembered, bespeaks the vacant mind. But I venture to hope that the judicious will pass a not unpleasant hour in turning my pages.
One final word: I buy, I collect "Presentation Books"; and I trust my friends will not think me churlish when I say that it is not my intention to turn a single copy of this, my book, into a presentation volume. Whatever circulation it may have must
be upon its own merits. Any one who sees this book in the hands of a reader, on the library table, or on the shelves of the collector, may be sure that some one, either wise or foolish as the event may prove, has paid a substantial sum for it, either in the current coin of the realm, or perchance in thrift stamps. It may, indeed, be that it has been secured from a lending library, in which case I would suggest that the book be returned instantly. "Go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves." And having separated yourself from your money, in the event that you should feel vexed with your bargain, you are at liberty to communicate your grievance to the publisher, securing from him what redress you may; and in the event of failure there yet remains your inalienable right, which should afford some satisfaction, that of damning
"OAK KNOLL," DAYLESFORD, PENNSYLVANIA, April 7, 1918.
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