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EYE-GLASS (OR SPY-GLASS) FOR THE LATTER.
FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION ONLY.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR,
The present edition of the Book of Liberals will not be on sale, being intended solely for distribution among private and public friends, and the censors of the pressthose omnipotent arbiters in the world of letters; but should it appear to those trusty counsellors that we may do well to let everybody have our book, who is willing to pay a moderate price for it, we shall issue another edition, eo intuitu, at a moderate price accordingly.
19 FEB. 1932
Ho! Ho! good friend-you who have got our book in your hands, with it open at the first page of the preface--you need not give yourself the trouble to read that before you read the rest of the book-unless you very much wish. For the preface will not explain the rest of the book, though the rest of the book may, perhaps, explain the preface; the truth being that we pen these premonitory lines, not to tell you what you may find printed in the book, but why you find the book printed.
We have been influenced by a double motive, but without being guilty of duplicity; and though we have looked in two directions, yet, we can
truly say, we are not a Janus, with a face before and a face behind. No, we have but one facesimple unity of physiognomy. And as we can boast of singleness of face, so can we boast of singleness of heart and integrity of purpose; since, if we have one foible greater than another, it is our downright desperate sincerity. Having premised thus much, we do not hesitate to make known the duality of our designs. Therefore we at once confess that it has been our endeavour in the work which follows, to blend the useful with the agreeable, to instruct as well as to amuse, and to make the reader wise as well as merry.
It has often been asked, what's in a name? A good deal; we think, especially in the name “liberal.” It is a very attractive epithet, and has attracted so much of our attention that we have made it a subject of study. And, because after much consideration, we firmly believe it to be an ad captandum prefix, enjoying a prestige it does not deserve, we have therefore in the leisure hours we could snatch from other employ
ment-made it the subject of an octavo volume, with which we request our friends to become acquainted.
All people like to be thought liberal; everybody is afraid of being called illiberal. Hence the motley crowds which agglomerate together to form the aggregate of liberals; many of whom deprecate the extremes of liberalism, as much as the most prudent conservatives, or even the most tenacious tories. Hence the supposed irresistible power of liberalism. Hence the sudden overthrow of governments, and thrones, and dynasties, in times of political effervescence. For, as the term liberal, though generally used to indicate a species, and we, conformably to the common practice, have so used it,) is in reality, a generic term, comprising all species, from the mildest reformer to the rankest republican, a very considerable deal of perplexity sometimes occurs with regard to the computation, or reckoning up of the sum total of those who, in troublous periods, are ready to go the extremest lengths; and so it