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Dedication and Preface 


TO


THE VERY DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED


FRIEND


OF MY PROSPEROUS AND EVIL DAYS--


TO THE FRIEND
WHO, THOUGH IN THE EARLY STAGES OF OUR ACQUAINTANCESHIP
DID OFTTIMES DISAGREE WITH ME, HAS SINCE
BECOME TO BE MY VERY WARMEST COMRADE--


TO THE FRIEND
WHO, HOWEVER OFTEN I MAY PUT HIM OUT, NEVER (NOW)
UPSETS ME IN REVENGE--


TO THE FRIEND
WHO, TREATED WITH MARKED COOLNESS BY ALL THE FEMALE
MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD, AND REGARDED WITH SUSPICION
BY MY VERY DOG, NEVERTHELESS SEEMS DAY BY
DAY TO BE MORE DRAWN BY ME, AND IN RETURN
TO MORE AND MORE IMPREGNATE ME WITH
THE ODOR OF HIS FRIENDSHIP--


TO THE FRIEND
WHO NEVER TELLS ME OF MY FAULTS, NEVER WANTS TO
BORROW MONEY, AND NEVER TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF--


TO THE COMPANION
OF MY IDLE HOURS, THE SOOTHER OF MY SORROWS,
THE CONFIDANT OF MY JOYS AND HOPES--


MY OLDEST AND STRONGEST


PIPE,


THIS LITTLE VOLUME


IS


GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY


DEDICATED.




PREFACE


One or two friends to whom I showed these papers in MS. having observed that they were not half bad, and some of my relations having promised to buy the book if it ever came out, I feel I have no right to longer delay its issue. But for this, as one may say, public demand, I perhaps should not have ventured to offer these mere "idle thoughts" of mine as mental food for the English-speaking peoples of the earth. What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct, and elevate. This book wouldn't elevate a cow. I cannot conscientiously recommend it for any useful purposes whatever. All I can suggest is that when you get tired of reading "the best hundred books," you may take this up for half an hour. It will be a change.

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