ADDRESSED TO THE READER.
In offering this book to you, I have no Preface to write. I have
only to request that you will bear in mind certain established
truths, which occasionally escape your memory when you are
reading a work of fiction. Be pleased, then, to remember (First):
That the actions of human beings are not invariably governed by
the laws of pure reason. (Secondly): That we are by no means
always in the habit of bestowing our love on the objects which
are the most deserving of it, in the opinions of our friends.
(Thirdly and Lastly): That Characters which may not have
appeared, and Events which may not have taken place, within the
limits of our own individual experience, may nevertheless be
perfectly natural Characters and perfectly probable Events, for
all that. Having said these few words, I have said all that seems
to be necessary at the present time, in presenting my new Story
to your notice.
London, February 1, 1875.
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