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Armadale

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(1866)


To JOHN FORSTER


In acknowledgment of the services which he has rendered to the cause of literature by his "Life of Goldsmith;" and in affectionate remembrance of a friendship which is associated with some of the happiest years of my life.



Readers in general--on whose friendly reception experience has

given me some reason to rely--will, I venture to hope, appreciate

whatever merit there may be in this story without any prefatory

pleading for it on my part. They will, I think, see that it has

not been hastily meditated or idly wrought out. They will judge

it accordingly, and I ask no more.



Readers in particular will, I have some reason to suppose, be

here and there disturbed, perhaps even offended, by finding that

"Armadale" oversteps, in more than one direction, the narrow

limits within which they are disposed to restrict the development

of modern fiction--if they can.



Nothing that I could say to these persons here would help me with

them as Time will help me if my work lasts. I am not afraid of my

design being permanently misunderstood, provided the execution

has done it any sort of justice. Estimated by the clap-trap

morality of the present day, this may be a very daring book.

Judged by the Christian morality which is of all time, it is only

a book that is daring enough to speak the truth.



LONDON, April, 1866.



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