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PREFACES are generally intended to answer a twofold purpose....to apologize for the errors of a work, or for its publication; and to deprecate the severity of critics.
Thus a preface is but the acknowledgment of a fraud committed by the writer upon the purchaser of his book....an apology for having entrapped the reader into the purchase of that which is unworthy of the price paid for it.
Youth and indiscretion are efficacious apologies, only so long as the works over which they are pretended remain fast in the escritoir of their author, or confined within the circle of his friends. Although they may defend the writer, they furnish additional food for reprehension in the publisher; and if any thing can add to his fault it is the meanness and absurdity of attempting to associate to himself the critic as a partner in the cheat.
The following pages, then, are offered to the Public without an apology, from a perfect conviction in their author that, if in themselves they are bad, he should but render himself more highly culpable by offering for them a lame excuse.