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with which they were originally jotted down come back again freshly upon him. It has always been his belief, as it certainly is his experience, that any one man who feels and enjoys— who can neither resist laughter nor forbid tears, that must out, and will have vent-is in some sort an epitome of the public.
So thinking and so hoping, the writer has been induced to lay this, his first humble 'venture, before his readers ; relying more upon the expressed judgment of others in the matter, than upon his own. 'I am glad to hear' — writes an American author whose favorable estimate would
reflect honor upon a far worthier literary project than the present—that you are preparing one or two volumes for publication from your "Table.' You will perhaps remember that I once spoke to you upon the subject, and advised you to this course. I have often thought it a great pity that the sallies of humor, the entertaining incidents, and the touches of tender pathos, which are so
frequently to be met with in your 'Gossip,' should be comparatively lost among the multitudinous leaves of a Magazine.'*
Kindred suggestions have been received from similar flattering sources, and are at last acted upon.
Of one thing at least the reader of this volume may be assured—and that is, abundant variety. There are sad thoughts and glad thoughts recorded in these pages; influenced by all seasons, and jotted down at all seasons; scenes and incidents in town and country, and all over the country; familiar "home-views,' anecdotes and stories' not a few; many and multifarious matters, in fine, original or communicated, that have made the writer laugh; and many, moreover, that have moistened his eyes, as he wrote and read and re-read them; the whole forming a dish of desultory "Gossip,' in which it is hoped that every body may find something that shall please, and no one any thing to offend him.
* WASHINGTON IRVING.