Imatges de pÓgina
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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, bị HARPER & BROTHERS,

In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York

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In addressing for the first time a person-or body corporate or incorporatesome embarrassment often arises as to "the eftest way" of commencing your request or apology; but as I intend making neither the one nor the other, I feel no hesitation in adopting the above, as being most likely to suit the character of the class of persons into whose hands this work may fall. I have "turned over many books," and have found "Gentle Reader," and "Kind Reader," and all sorts of amiable "Readers" by dozens, but the "Wicked Reader" I think I have got all to my-old friend Barnes and others as if they self. And if we only take notice of all were still alive, when they have been that occurs to us every day in the week, foolish enough to die in the interim. and believe half what is said to us every Sunday, this book will certainly be perused by a very large majority who fully deserve the title I have selected for them.

beginning of this very book. Faults are beauties to the eye of friendship; he declined accepting it, deeming it of higher value; and so strongly urged me to proceed with my recollections, that, having the luxury of leisure during the following summer, I wrote at random the first volume. But since then till now, having had to get my living by putting the nonsense of others into my head, I have had no time to spare to put my own upon paper. This long wait between the acts will, therefore, account for my speaking of my

In the second volume, as I wrote carelessly along, I found I was recollecting too much, and was therefore compelled to take shelter in an abruptness which I had not at first contemplated. A smile of approbation from my old associates is the chief reward I look for from this truth-telling gossip; but if I told the whole truth, it might cause a laugh on the wrong side of the mouth. And even you, wicked reader, wouldn't wish me, though in joke, to wound the feelings of a class of persons the canting world has for ages made most sensitive to wrong, because it has never done them right.

Depending solely on memory for material, the incidents in the following pages are told without any strict regard to chron'ological order, but as they naturally connected themselves by "relative suggestion," as far as possible, with the impressions they made at the time. In fact, encumbering a book of this kind with dates, and heights, and distances, is like throwing a man overboard, to swim for his life, buttoned up in buckskin breeches and boots, when, by "going it with a perfect looseness," he might have a small chance to escape.


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And now, to borrow the extemporaneous language of the members of my profession, when "respectfully" informing an audience that some villanous tyro will be substituted instead of the sterling performer they have walked a mile and paid their dollar

The way I came to undertake this task
at all was simply this. In the winter of
1841, my esteemed friend F. W. Thomas,
Esq., the successful novelist, requested to see,
me to give him some anecdotical sketches
of my life, to be prepared by his practical
pen, as matter for a periodical he was
then providing with suchlike insufficient
food; and I wrote for that purpose the|

Most Wicked Reader, "I rely on your usual indulgence." JOE COWELL.

Baltimore, August 1, 1843.


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