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The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.
HE Author of TWICE-TOLD TALES has a claim to
one distinction, which, as none of his literary
brethren will care about disputing it with bim, he need not be afraid to mention. He was, for a good many years, the obscurest man of letters in America.
These stories were published in Magazines and Annuals, extending over a period of ten or twelve years, and comprising the whole of the writer's young manhood, without making (so far as he has ever been aware) the slightest impression on the Public. One or two among them the RILL FROM THE Town Pump, in perhaps a greater degree than any other — had a pretty wide newspaper circulation ; as for the rest, he has no grounds for supposing, that, on their first appearance, they met with the good or evil fortune to be read by anybody. Throughout the time above specified, he had no incitement to literary effort in a reasonable prospect of reputation or profit ; nothing but the pleasure itself of composition, an enjoyment not at all amiss in its way, and perhaps