It is indeed a question, Why should we write a book ? -We have but one encouragement without our own conceit, which is, that few, if any, of the accepted wits of the past were ever excellent in the positive feats which we have mentioned. They seem to have possessed an acknowledged. Greatness in their general health, harmony, or proportion of mind, to whose consciousness pleasant truth was congenial, and came through some subtlety of attraction. This harmony or health of soul must comprise something of that delicate presence called genius : and here is our encouragement- that although we have few, if any, notable specialities to boast of, we may have a very excellent genius nevertheless. And if it shall be found that even genius, to possess truth, must go about and coart its vicinity somewhat; we sball exalt our horn a little, because of experience of various sorts that we have encountered more than most writers-experience of the varieties and extremities of outer and inner life.
In this particular we can boast of having been poor enough to believe that appetite was ever sufficient, and that means to gratify it were the only requisites of contentment, and rich enough to wish us compelled to bard labor to win again the appetites that once annoyed us. So our book may have in it the wit of both 'wealth and poverty'. We have lain at death's door and knocked for admission; and we have wished to live on earth forever. So our book may contain the wisdom of health and of sickness. We have been heart-sick, melancholy, and despairing for months; and we baYe known spirits for years together which have defied calamity, pain, and care, and in which even now we are taking our immortality at leisure. So our book may contain something of madness if uot of sanity.
And we have held many opinions in course, and followed many occupations: we have been actor, artist, solicitor, playwright, poet, metaphysician, farmer and machinist ; we have lectured, published, and preached a little ; we have showed; gambled, a.nd shyed our cap in the prize ring. Surely our book shall have the wit of the vagabond.-To the philanthropist who would reproach so reckless and aimless a life, there is this consolation, that it hath compassed but twenty-eight years, by God's mercy; and time seems left us to amend. Yet for our own sake we would not recall nor re-live one hour of the past, if this book's success shall crown our martyred respectability- which, living, had kept us incompetent to the task before us. We have heard that the Rolling stone gathers no moss; but we shall have lived to learn that the polish of locomotion compensates the want of the rich moss that grows only on quiet and stability, and shall Batter ourself that only ll stone gf some symmetry has any tendency to roll.