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TO CHARLES CANNAN.
My Dear Cannan,
It is told of a distinguished pedagogue that one day a heated
stranger burst into his study, and, wringing him by the hand,
cried, "Heaven bless and reward you, sir! Heaven preserve you
long to educate old England's boyhood! I have walked many a
weary, weary mile to see your face again," he continued,
flourishing a scrap of paper, "and assure you that but for your
discipline, obeyed by me as a boy and remembered as a man, I
should never--no, never--have won the Ticket-of-Leave which you
In something of the same spirit I bring you this small volume.
The child of encouragement is given to staggering its parent;
and I make no doubt that as you turn the following pages, you
will more than once exclaim, with the old lady in the ballad--
"O, deary me! this is none of I!"
Nevertheless, it would be strange indeed if this story bore no
marks of you; for a hundred kindly instances have taught me to
come with sure reliance for your reproof and praise. Few, I
imagine, have the good fortune of a critic so friendly and
inexorable; and if the critic has been unsparing, he has been
June 7, 1888
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