The kind way in which this series of papers has been received has been a pleasure greater than I dared to anticipate. I felt that I was a late comer in the midst of a crowd of ardent and eager candidates for public attention, that I had already had my day, and that if, like the unfortunate Frenchman we used read about, I had "come again," I ought not to surprised if I received the welcome of "Monsieur Tonson."
It has not proved so. My old readers have come forward in the pleasantest possible way and assured me that they were glad to see me again. There is no need, therefore, of apologies or explanations. I thought I had something left to say and I have found listeners. In writing these papers I have had occupation and kept myself in relation with my fellow-beings. New sympathies, new sources of encouragement, if not of inspiration, have opened themselves before me and cheated the least promising season of life of much that seemed to render it dreary and depressing. What particularly pleased me has been the freedom of criticisms which I have seen from disadvantageous comparisons of my later with my earlier writings.
I should like a little rest from literary work before the requiescat ensures my repose from earthly labors, but I will not be rash enough to promise that I will not even once again greet my old and new readers if the impulse becomes irresistible to renew a companionship which has been to me such a source of happiness.
BEVERLY FARM, Mass., August, 1891.
O. W. H.
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